Lala Amarnath – a cricketer from Punjab who was not only famous for his game and combative attitude but his sharp tongue that made him even more popular.
On his birth anniversary, we remember the man who gave Independent India its first century in cricket.
In 1933, in his first match against England, he scored a century. Not only this, he became the first Indian cricket captain in independent India and the team won its first series under his captaincy. In 1952-52, India defeated Pakistan 2-1.
It is said about Lala that he was the first player who looked the cricket management in the eye and answered them in their own language.
He also paid a price for this, and was dropped from the team on many occasions.
Not just Lala, but his sons Surinder and Mohinder also suffered the consequences of his rebellious behaviour.
While Surinder didn’t get many chances, Mohinder was dropped from the team frequently.
After retirement, Lala became the coach of the team and later the selector. He even went on to become a commentator. Even as a coach, he was very strict. If he would teach something and the players played it wrong, he would get furious and never hesitate from scolding them.
He often criticised batsmen for playing bad shots on air. It was his ruthless commentary that made him a fan-favourite, but it was also the same ruthlessness that ended his commentary career.
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