November 9 marks a special day for the Mumbai cricket, as Aditya Tare‘s side is taking on Deepak Hooda’s Baroda for their 500th match in India’s premier first-class competition, Ranji Trophy. Mumbai has been dominating the domestic circuit in India since time immemorial. Over the years, they have produced some of the finest cricketers for India in the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and others. On the eve of Mumbai’s 500th game, Gavaskar revealed the real secret behind Mumbai’s success.
Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has a very good structure with Club level cricket in good shape. They have always picked players based on their merit, and that has reflected in their performance. Even the language players use is different, they have their own lingo and terms. There is a strong camaraderie shared by the players, and Gavaskar feels it is responsible for the success that the 41-time champions have achieved over the years.
“Mumbai cricket has been defined by its never give up attitude and that has not changed over the years. What is more important is that Mumbai cricket has always picked the best players and not according to caste or creed. It does not matter who you are or where you come from, it’s only your cricketing ability that will get you the coveted Mumbai cap,” the 68-year-old said while speaking to DNA.
“In fact when we played despite the fact that there were 11 Maharashtrians and two Gujaratis in the team, the dressing room language was Gujarati. The Maharashtrians spoke better Gujarati than the Gujaratis who were murdering Marathi, so the dressing room language was Gujarati. The bonhomie that exists in the dressing room is the real secret of its success,” the owner of 81 first-class tons further added.
Gavaskar’s most memorable match
When the Mumbai born player was asked to pick his favourite moment in Mumbai jersey, he recapitulated the 1976-77 semi-final match between Mumbai (then Bombay) and Karnataka (then Madras), which his team won quite comfortably.
“The match I remember most is the game where Ajit Wadekar got a triple hundred and Dilip Sardesai got a century against (EAS) Prasanna and (BS) Chandrasekhar and won the game for Mumbai,” said the man who has scored over 10,000 runs in Test cricket. Mumbai then defeated rivals Delhi in the finals to lift the silverware.