Interview: Amol Muzumdar the warrior of Indian domestic cricket has finally called it a day from his cricketing career in India
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Amol Muzumdar the warrior of Indian domestic cricket has finally called it a day from his cricketing career in India. A moment which takes every cricket fan in flash back where you remember all those big innings that he played. Tireless, energetic knocks in Ranji trophy and 25 years at this level ensured him the tag and record for the highest run-getter in Ranji cricket with 11167 runs.
Amol is more often recalled as the one who had to wait, stories of him endlessly waiting for a batting chance when Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kamli hit the 664 run massive partnership in inter-school Harris Sheild tournament. It was long back and Amol was merely 13 then, but what he might remember his entire life is the wait he had to do for an India call which too never materialized. Indian cricket saw the rise of fab 4 the famous middle order which was composed of Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and India’s best opening partners in Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Gangully.
Through roughs and peeks his consistency and temperament remained constant. Every season he walked in and tried to do his best and this is what it shows in the fantastic career he has achieved for himself, 30 centuries and 60 half centuries is no easy task.
The moment Amol Muzumdar announced his retirement in Mumbai, the cricketing word rose to salute him. Sachin Tendulkar his Mumbai team-mate for years tweeted, “Amol’s spirit left a mark and batting made a statement. Best wishes and welcome to the band of retired!”
One thing that #AmolMuzumdar always missed, the element of luck. Always dedicated and pursued his talent with passion and sincerity.
— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) September 25, 2014
It is though not the end of road for him as he hinted moving to Netherlands’ now and play a year of club cricket there would complete 4 years of competitive cricket for him in the country and make him eligible for national selection. Who knows we might see him donning the Orange Jersey someday up against India as well.
CricTracker caught with Amol in his retired life for a short yet crisp interview, edited excerpts.
Q.Describe us your cricketing journey ?
A.It was long yet satisfying one for me, I played cricket for almost 24-25 years and at the end of it I can say I am satisfied.
Q.One advice from Ramakant Acharekar Sir you think was guru mantra for you ?
A.There were lots of things that we were taught by Acharekar Sir. It will be tough for me to pin point one but there were several things. He told us to ‘respect the game’ on many occasions told us that ‘the game was bigger, much bigger than any individual’. He used to use a lot of sayings while teaching and I think every student of his remembers most of them through their life.
Q.As a young aspirant which cricketer did you idolise who inspired you the most ?
A.While I was growing up it was Sunil Gavaskar. I completely loved the way he batted, adored him, have immense respect for everything that he has achieved in cricket.
Q.You are amongst the top run getters in Ranji Cricket do you think Indian domestic cricket is in the right shape ?
A.Of course it is! It’s been healthy for a long time. It reflects in the cricket that India has played in the last decade or so. India was the top ranked test team for almost 2 years, and then they won the last Word Cup in 2011, also the T20 world cup. There are a lot of things that have happened in the last 10 years or so in Indian cricket and this shows the domestic cricket is in real good shape.
Q.In your entire career which Indian Bowler did you find most challenging ?
A.I think Anil Kumble was very tough to handle, also Javagal Srinath, when I played against him it was tough. I would rank these two at the top of the Indian bowlers that I have faced.
Q.Would you like to recommend some changes in the selection policy ?
A.No not at all. I am no one to recommend anything, it has been fair but at the same time we cannot overlook the fact that there were four greats playing for India at that time. Eventually all of them went on to play more than 120 test matches for India. All of them VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly; I don’t think its unfair selection it’s just that I didn’t get a chance.
Q.You had a long and tough career how supportive was your family in all those ups & downs ?
A.Family is a pillar in any sportsman’s life; you keep talking about the support that they receive from their families. I think it really matters to have a stable, helpful and understanding family to back you, if you have that then half the battle is won.
Q.Are you planning of shifting base to the Netherlands now that you have called it a day in Indian cricket ?
A.I would like to wish everyone the very best, try to do best as much as you can. Play cricket with a lot of passion, that’s very important. Passion and hard-work will take you a long way.
Q.Wisdom you would Like to share with young future cricketers ?
A.Amol signs off with a message, his share of wisdom for all the youngster and not so young cricketers who are facing tough times. He is a figure to idolize and look up to when at any point in your career you feel lost and have even a slightest thought of quitting. Amol Muzumdar’s spirit will give you enough inspiration to fight your way through all odds and rise to achieve the best in you.