Stands at M Chinnaswamy stadium need to be named after Karnataka greats, says Gavaskar

It is peculiar in that a legacy stadium such as the M Chinnaswamy stadium does not have stands named after its famed players
Last Updated 31 March 2024, 15:57 IST

Bengaluru: Sunil Gavaskar shot out a plea to the powers that be in the Karnataka State Cricket Association, asking them to name the stands after the cricketers who have brought laurels to not just the State but also the country.

It is peculiar in that a legacy stadium such as the M Chinnaswamy stadium does not have stands named after its famed players despite the State producing some of the finest cricketers in the history of the game. 

The Wankhede Stadium in Bombay has stands or gates named after Vijay Merchant, Vinoo Mankad, Sunil Gavaskar, and Sachin Tendulkar. The Feroz Shah Kotla ground in Delhi honours those such as Bishan Bedi, Mohinder Amarnath and Virender Sehwag. 

"Look at the number of tremendous Karnataka players that have come not just during that time but also after it and added so much to Indian cricket," said Gavaskar in a video byte during a felicitation function for Karnataka's 1973-74 Ranji Trophy-winning team. 

"I do hope that this Golden Jubilee is taken advantage of by the KSCA to name and honour some of the stands at the M Chinnaswamy stadium after these stalwarts, particularly the ones who won them the first-ever Ranji Trophy - Erapalli Prasanna's, BS Chandrasekhar's, the Gundappa Viswanath's, and of course a little bit later Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath to name a few.

He continued: "I think our cricket stadiums should be named after those who have brought glory to the game, and certainly as far as Karnataka is concerned, these gentlemen have done wonders not just to Karnataka cricket but also to Indian cricket."

As for Karnataka's triumph, Gavaskar recalled the semifinals where Karnataka defeated Mumbai to progress to the finals where they put aside Rajasthan. 

"Mumbai had been winning non-stop for 15 years and Karnataka stopped their winning run in the semifinals and then went on to after that win to win (lift the trophy) eight or nine times in the Ranji Trophy," he recalled.  

"That win by Karnataka certainly open the doors as far as the other teams' thinking was concerned because till then Mumbai was thought about as being invincible on home ground or even away. But the Karnataka's win certainly made other teams also believe that they could go on to win the Ranji."

Rahul Dravid, the current Indian coach who was present at the event in Bengaluru, opined much the same. 

"It was an inspiration for all of us," said the former India captain. "Right from our U-15 and U-17 tours, all we could hear was how Karnataka beat the mighty Bombay against all odds (in the semifinals back then).

"It really opened the doors for Karnataka cricket, and also the rest of the country that it is possible to beat Bombay. It was the bedrock of everything that followed as on the shoulders of these giants Karnataka cricket prospered." 

(Published 31 March 2024, 15:57 IST)

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