Former Test cricketer Muddiah no more


VM Muddiah

Born in Bangalore in June 8, 1929, Muddiah -- who represented the then Mysore state before moving to the Services -- appeared in two Tests for India against the visiting Australia and Pakistan teams. A proud military man, Muddiah didn’t enjoy much success as an off-spinner at the international level. Making his debut against Australia in New Delhi in December 1959 he went wicketless in his first Test. But he had something to cheer about in his second Test in Kanpur against Pakistan, claiming the wickets of Mustaq Mohammad, Hanif Mohammad and Imtiaz Ahmed. That was all he could achieve as far as his international career was concerned.

At the domestic level, however, he held more than his own bagging 123 wickets at an average of 21 in the Ranji Trophy. In all Muddiah took 175 wickets in his 61 firstclass-match career that lasted till 1962. He also took a hat-trick for Services against Eastern Punjab and a miserly figures of 5 for 2 against Jammu and Kashmir. One of his memorable performances for Mysore came in the 1951-52 Ranji semifinal against Bombay. After Mysore made 170, Bombay finished the first day on a commanding 163 for 1. After an overnight rain, Muddiah took six wickets in eight overs to bowl Bombay out for 205 on the second day. However, Mysore still went on to lose by an innings.

Having come through Mysore University and Mysore State 'B' teams, he later went on to play club cricket for Malleswaram Gymkhana and Friends Union CC in Bangalore.

After representing Mysore briefly in 1951-52, he moved to IAF as an Air Traffic Controller. It was during his stint with the IAF that he went on to play for the country to become the second cricketer from the State after Phiroze Palia to wear an India cap. Muddiah is also described as the ‘first authentic Kannadiga’ to play for India at the Test level.

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