k srikkanth

Krishnamachari Srikkanth, born on December 21, 1959, was one of India’s most flamboyant openers in the 1980s. Srikkanth was a member of the 1983 World Cup winning side and 28 years later, he was at the helm of the selection panel that chose another champion side. He played 43 Tests and 146 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for India. Nishad Pai Vaidya picks 14 things you should know about Srikkanth.

1. Electrical engineer

Srikkanth is an Electrical Engineer by qualification. He studied at the College of Engineering in Guindy.

2. India under-19s and Young India

Srikkanth was selected to play for India under-19s against Pakistan under-19s in 1979. Chandrakant Pandit, Kiran More and Gopal Sharma were a part of that team. In 1984, he was picked for Young India on the tour to Zimbabwe, where he played alongside Ravi Shastri, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Lalchand Rajput, Mohammad Azharuddin, Raju Kulkarni, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Manoj Prabhakar and Sadanand Vishwanath to name a few.

3. Numerology

Normally, the name is spelt ‘Shrikant.’ In this case, he changed it to Srikkanth for numerological reasons. In fact, when he started his own website which sold tutorials, they were priced as Rs 990 because he believes that the number ‘9’ is lucky for him.

4. Embarrassment on Test debut

Srikkanth made his Test debut against England at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium and endured one of the most embarrassing experiences ever. He had hit the ball to the off-side and casually strolled out of the crease. John Emburey swooped on the ball and hit the stumps down to have Srikkanth run-out.

5. Highest scorer in 1983 World Cup final on both sides

Srikkanth was the highest scorer in the 1983 World Cup final on both sides. His innings of 38 is often forgotten in the backdrop of Mohinder Amarnath’s all-round heroics, Balvinder Singh Sandhu’s magic delivery and Kapil Dev’s magnificent catch. In hindsight, Srikkanth’s 38 was worth its weight in gold as India scored 183 and won the game by 43 runs.

6. Mistaken selection

In 1984, when Ghulam Parkar was injured during India’s tour of Pakistan, someone called up the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) president, posing as selector Hanumant Singh. He said that Srikkanth had been called up as a replacement and was asked to pack his bags and leave for Mumbai. In fact, the TNCA President’s son had taken the call and then informed Srikkanth’s wife. Srikkanth packed up and left by the earliest available flight. On landing in Mumbai, he found out that this was a hoax call! It was yet another embarrassment Srikkanth had to endure.

7. Two five-wicket hauls in the space of three ODIs

Up until December 10, 1988, Srikkanth had bowled in only 13 out of his 103 ODIs. But, on that day, he picked up his maiden five-wicket haul against the touring New Zealanders in Visakhapatnam. He recorded a spell of five for 27 to restrict New Zealand to 196. He followed that up with 70 runs in the run-chase. A couple of ODIs later, he took his second fifer, which was a spell of five for 32 as India successfully defended 222.

8. Brother-in-law a player

Bharat Kumar, Tamil Nadu former fast bowler, is Srikkanth’s brother-in-law. Bharat is married to Srikkanth’s sister, Srikala.

9. Sachin Tendulkar’s first international captain

Srikkanth was the captain of the Indian team on their tour to Pakistan in 1989. It was the same tour where the precociously talented 16-year-old, Sachin Tendulkar took his first steps in international cricket. Srikkanth captained India in both the Tests and the ODIs.

10. Part of two World Cups triumphs

Srikkanth was the member of Kapil Dev’s 1983 World Cup winning squad. Almost 28 years down the line, he was in the thick of things again when India lifted the ICC World Cup 2011 at home. Srikkanth was the man who headed the selection panel that chose the champion team.

11. Following in the father’s footsteps

Srikkanth’s two sons, Anirudha and Aditya, pursued their cricketing ambitions, trying to emulate their father. While Aditya did not progress beyond age group cricket, Anirudha has been more successful having played consistently for Tamil Nadu in domestic cricket. He was also a part of the India under-19 side for some time and then played for the Chennai Super Kings and the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

12. Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa

In 2013, Srikkanth participated in the popular celebrity dance reality Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. Prior to that venture, Srikkanth was quoted by IANS, “I am completely zero when it comes to dancing. What is dance? It is just when you are in a good mood, you just start jiving to a rhythm… you start moving and your body starts shaking. That is what it is.” Srikkanth was the oldest celebrity taking part that year and was eliminated early in the competition.

13. Computer training

In 2010, Srikkanth launched a website called CareerStrokes, where lectures on corporate affairs were beamed for the youth.

14. Fun character

Srikkanth has been amongst the most jolly Indian cricketers. Many times, he has also been a subject to a few jokes. In Caught and Told,Sandeep Patil recalled an instance where Srikkanth tried to get his hand read by Vasu Paranjape, the famous coach. Paranjape had a bit of knowledge of palmistry. Srikkanth told him that he had no lines on his hand. With all his wit, Paranjape replied, “You are right; there are no worries for you. All the worries are for those who watch you bat!”

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)