Thursday 28 April 2011

World Cup Story from the Kanmadikars

It feels great personally to have been in an era where one has seen the Indian cricket team winning the World Cup. Yes, I didn’t have the opportunity to be at the Wankhede stadium, but it does not matter. I am happy about the World Cup. Here in Indore, sitting in the board room of the MPCA, located at the Holkar stadium, I am beginning my preparations for IPL’s debut at Indore.
It feels great to be in a city that has a rich history in cricket, although fairly low in terms of the output of Test cricketers; but those who made it were of rich pedigree.
While on work, a certain gentleman Mr. Milind Kanmadikar knocks the board room and asks for me. Yes, I remember him, as I had spoken to him over phone in order to confirm his role as the home team liaison, we mutually scheduled the meeting. He was the liaison manager for the Canadian team which participated in the recently concluded Cricket World Cup. I enquired about his role with the Canadian team to have an insight about his role and he was very lucid that made us have some interesting conversation. My inquisitive mind did not stop.
I asked him if he was at Wankhede to witness the finals, he said “No” but my son Prasoon did. I got to meet Prasoon two days prior I met Mr. Milind. Prasoon is a freelance lawyer who also happens to be the Broadcast Liaison for the two IPL matches at Indore. Mr. Milind added– “I witnessed the 1983 World Cup at Lord’s”. I was impressed and he continues – “My father was the secretary of the BCCI during that time and courtesy, my dad I was able to watch the match”.

He was referring to none other than Anant Wagesh Kanmadikar, who is popularly known as “The Judge” was in fact a judge by profession. He was a popular cricket administrator whose highlight in administration was holding the post of secretary, BCCI from 1980 – 85. This small chat with Milind was enthralling. Mr. A.W. Kanmadikar was a towering personality in MPCA and Indian cricket administrative circles. He passed away in the year 2005, leaving behind a legacy that saw India winning the World Cup for the first time and also hosting the World Cup in 1987. In his honor MPCA conducts a district level junior tournament and the trophy is aptly named ‘A.W Kanmadikar trophy’.

We both had some commitments to attend and before bidding a bye, I asked if he wasn’t tempted to be at Wankhede. He replied, “I saw in 1983 and I wanted my son to witness this. He cried after India won the World Cup as his son had an opportunity to witness the same and now they both relate this rare joy of achievement among Indian cricket circles”.

Over the course of next few weeks, I will have an opportunity to interact with these gentlemen as Indore gears up to host the IPL for the first time.
(L-R): Milind Kanmadikar, A.W. Kanmadikar, Prasoon Kanmadikar posing with the Kanmadikar trophy