Binny follows in his father's footsteps

Binny follows in his father's footsteps

Binny follows in his father's footsteps

At around 3.00 pm on Tuesday, Karnataka players mobbed around the television in their dressing room here at the KSCA-Rajnagar stadium. Anxiety filled their faces as the news of India announcing their 15-member squad for the World Cup flashed across the screen.

After all, there were three contenders from Karnataka – Robin Uthappa, Stuart Binny and Manish Pandey. As it turned out, Uthappa and Pandey missed the bus while Binny made the cut, following in his father’s footsteps into the World Cup squad.

Stuart’s father Roger, who is a selector now, was part of India’s World Cup winning team in 1983, playing an important role in India’s triumph and also ending up as the highest wicket-taker in that edition of the tournament. Roger was also part of the 1987 World Cup team.

Uthappa have been in superb touch throughout this domestic season, and had just made a well-crafted 156 against Jammu and Kashmir. The pre-selection talks too had projected him as the front-runner from the Karnataka side.

But fate had reserved another story for him this day. However, his personal disappointment didn’t prevent him for a moment in giving a bear hug to Binny.

Gradually, all other Karnataka players and support staff lined-up to wish Binny. “Yes, I am very happy for Stuart. We both were pretty tensed yesterday and today. Hopefully, he does great. It is an honour to play in the World Cup. It is a fantastic opportunity. I just wished him and asked him to make the most of it,” said Uthappa, who was a part of the 2007 World Cup team.

Then he admitted his disappointment on missing out on a chance to be part of the squad. “I have accepted it, and staying very much in the present. Yes, definitely I am a tad disappointed, but I believe that good things will come at the right time, at the right place under the right circumstances.”

J Arun Kumar, the batting coach of Karnataka, too expressed his delight in Binny getting the national call. “We were hoping all three – Stuart, Robin and Manish – to get through. But we thought Stuart and Robin to be a walk-in.

“Stuart might get a game because he is the only fast bowling all-rounder. Stuart’s bowling will be very conducive in New Zealand because of the weather. Stuart should give us a party and he is trying to evade the topic. But we will definitely pull something out of him,” he added. So, let’s raise a toast for Binny.