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Bowled over by cricket

Bowled over by cricket

On December 1, 1947, my friends – KS Vishwanath, BP Anantha Krishna, Srischandra Arya, Narasimhaswamy and Manjunath – and I, who were residing in Chamarajapet then, founded ‘City Cricketers’, presently a well-known cricket club in Karnataka. All of us were in the age group of 14 to 15 years.  

   

KN Jeevothama Rao, accounts officer in Bangalore Transport Company then (presently BMTC), donated a cricket kit and coir mat to the club. I presented four bamboo wickets. To sustain the expenses, we raised money through donations, arranged film screenings and also had a Kannada drama, ‘Dharmaratnakara’ by Hirannaya, to be staged. The team practised regularly on Vokkaligara Sangha Maidana (presently where KIMS hospital is situated) on KR Road. 
   
In 1950, an English willow cricket bat cost Rs 120, a Kashmir willow one cost Rs 30 and a cricket ball cost Rs 5. These prices cannot be compared with the present day ones. Since many of these were not affordable to us. We used to buy second-hand equipment from auctions conducted by various colleges in Bengaluru.      

Affiliation to the Mysore State Cricket Association (MSCA) took place in 1951. ‘City Cricketers’ were champions of the Nasser Memorial Tournament in 1954, after which the club was promoted to Sir Mirza Ismail Shield League in 1955. ‘City Cricketers’ won the championship in 1955-56, under the captaincy of BP Anantha Krishna and was ably supported by all the team members in the photograph.

This photograph was taken in a house opposite to the then ‘City Hockey Club’ (presently where Basavanagudi Aquatic Club is located) in Shankarpuram. It was clicked by D Anandaraj, a Deccan Herald staff photographer and was also published in Deccan Herald in 1956. EAS Prasanna became the first individual to represent Mysore State (now Karnataka) in the Indian cricket team, which toured West Indies in 1960-61 and subsequently all the cricket playing countries.

Another cricketer BS Chandrasekhar, who joined us in 1964, has also represented India as a member of the Indian cricket team, which recorded the first Test victory on a foreign soil (against England). He has also toured all the cricket-playing countries with the Indian team.     
 
BP Anantha Krishna, KV Anantha Swamy, MV Vasanth Kumar, R Nara­sim­has­wamy and BM Madhusudan are no longer with us. Presently, KS Vishwanath is the President and AV Shashidhar is a Managing Committee Member of KSCA and the Secretary of this 67-year-old club.   

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