The BCCI made a mess in extending invitations to the former Test captains to honour them during Indian teams’ 500th Test at Kanpur. It seems the Board officials did not do their homework properly otherwise blatant discrepancy would not have taken place.
After a close scrutiny of the invitee captains’ list, it is crystal clear that three leading Indian cricketers who captained India escaped the eyes scanning the Indian skippers list of the bygone days.
The notable omission have been Gundappa Vishwanath Ajit Wadekar, Bishen Singh Bedi and Srinivas Venkataraghavan. All that can be said about this omission that ignorance is a bliss. The authorities would have done lot of good to themselves if they had consulted a reputed statistician to find out that even Chandu Borde captained India at Adelaide in the first Test of 1967-68 series Down Under. Borde stepped in for Nawab Pataudi who was nursing an injury.
The faux pas came to fore again when the BCCI lost sight of the fact that when skipper Sunil Gavaskar fell ill on the eve of sixth Test at Calcutta in 1979-80, Gundappa Vishwanath took over the reins of the Indian captaincy.
The two other notable invitees omitted from the invitee list were Ajit Wadekar and Bishen Singh Bedi, both with high-profile triumphs abroad. Wadekar orchestrated India’s maiden victories in West Indies and England in 1971, first ever two successive overseas wins. While Bishen Bedi’s team became the second in the annals of Test cricket to record a victory by scoring more than 400 runs in the second innings at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago in 1976. It is pertinent to point out that Don Bradman’s ‘Invincible’ was the first team to chase a score of more than 400 runs to win an Ashes Test at Leeds in 1948. The omission of the galaxy of these Test captains from the list of the invitees for the historical 500th Test is going to be sad chapter of the event.
It left a bitter taste in the mouth of the inhabitants of Kanpur that a son-in-law of the city Bedi’s name was found missing from the list of the invitees. To carry it to its conclusive end that two other Indian skippers- Lala Amarnath and Sunil Gavaskar also met their waterloo at Kanpur. The duo opted to have Kanpur lass as their life partners.
In fact, the UPCA could have invited the senior most commentator of the Subcontinent who hails from village Dalip Nagar of Kanpur Padma Shri bestowed Ravi Chaturvedi. .