Throwback: Indore’s memorial Vijay Balla erected to honour Indian cricket team’s success

The monument was erected to commemorate the iconic Indian victories in 1971

The Vijay Balla
The Vijay Balla at the Old Nehru Stadium. (Photo Source: Hindustan Times)

In the game of cricket, statues erected to honour prominent personalities outside the stadiums in a common phenomenon. The Associations name ends and stands in the venue to pay homage to the players who bring laurels to the ground.

Mumbai has the Sachin Tendulkar stand and Trinidad has the Brian Lara stand. Recently, James Anderson achieved a unique feat at Old Trafford where he picked up a South African wicket while bowling from the ‘James Anderson’ end. Legendary cricketers such as Michael Holding, Shane Warne, Glenn Mcgrath and many others already have a stand in their respective home grounds.

That said, the city which scheduled to host the third ODI between India and Australia, Indore, has built a unique tribute to honour Indian cricket. Just about 2 kilometres away from the newly built Holkar Stadium lies the Old Nehru stadium which hosts the Vijay Balla or the Victory bat.

The monument was erected to commemorate the iconic Indian victories in 1971

The giant concrete cricket bat was built as a tribute to the Indian cricket team that had secured their first Test series wins away against England and West Indies in 1971. The bat has the names of the player in the squad of the iconic wins away. The likes of Bishan Singh Bedi, Bhagwath Chandrasekhar, Ajit Wadekar, Sunil Gavaskar and many others feature in the list.

Ajit Wadekar, who was the captain of the side, himself inaugurated the bat back in 2009 when the concrete monument was erected in Indore. The year 1971 is also termed as the golden year of Indian cricket. Their first assignment was their tour to the West Indies followed by the victorious tour to England.

The likes of Roy Fredericks, Clive Lloyd and Sir Garfield Sobers featured on the side during that point of time. Chandrasekhar spun his magic and picked up 6/38 as India secured a four-wicket win at The Oval to win the match and a series in England for the first time.