BENGALURU: The stadium was new – in truth, building was nonetheless occurring. Pleasure was excessive. There have been, in spite of everything, 4 Karnataka gamers within the crew: Gundappa Viswanath, Brijesh Patel, EAS Prasanna and BS Chandrasekhar. However Bengaluru’s historic and a much-awaited first worldwide Check fixture clouded by controversy – rumours of a doable stadium collapse swirled. There even was an agitation in opposition to holding the match within the metropolis.
“If my reminiscence is correct, the crew was lodged at Taj West Finish and the thrill of the primary worldwide Check in Bangalore was clearly within the air each amongst followers and amongst 4 or us native gamers. Although I made my debut 5 years in the past, I felt so nervous and on the similar time enthusiastic about taking part in in entrance of the house followers,” reminisces Viswanath.
The Indian cricketing legend appeared again on his youthful days when he used to journey to Madras (now Chennai) along with his brothers to look at cricket matches on the Chepauk stadium there. “A global Check match in Bangalore was eagerly awaited for years and I bear in mind it like yesterday. We walked into the sphere to a jam-packed viewers, most of them seated on momentary stands,” he says.
Heavy rains the earlier night time of the match day left everybody anxious on the beginning of town’s first worldwide Check tie however the solar got here out. “The match began at 12.10 pm because the pitch was moist. Crowds had began to come back on proper from 6 am that day and remained packed on the wood momentary stands ready for the large day of cricket to begin,” says cricket statistician HR Gopalakrishna who was All India Radio’s official scorekeeper for the match on the stadium.
Gopalakrishna was 28 and was on the primary day of his job. He then collected autographs of all of the gamers and supporting employees on the finished rating card of November 22 to 27, 1974, a memento he cherishes to today.
Gundappa Viswanath in motion together with Sunil Gavaskar
Bother for the Check
The rain and the moist pitch weren’t the one issues. “Spinner Bishan Singh Bedi was dropped from the Indian crew for the West Indies sequence by the board as a disciplinary motion. This enraged lots of his followers who then threatened that they’d stop the match from happening by damaging the pitch. Subsequently, police had made elaborate safety preparations for the match,” recollects cricket historian and creator Vedam Jaishankar.
Jaishankar additionally remembers the propaganda on the newly erected stands of the Chinnaswamy Stadium being unsteady and was vulnerable to a catastrophic flip of occasions when it’s a full home. “The organizers organized a show for the press the day before today by putting over 40,000 cement luggage on the stands to show that they may take the load of the spectators. These momentary wood stands had been put collectively by employees from Kerala and Tamil Nadu who specialise in erecting wood buildings,” he says.
He additionally remembers how the organisers needed to construct a boundary wall across the stadium to forestall the cows from straying into the pitch and feeding on the grass.
A cigarette case solely offered to the gamers and employees of the take a look at match by the Karnataka State Cricket Affiliation
Retired police officer Krish Seetharam who was posted for the match safety describes how a big however well-mannered Bangalore crowd got here to benefit from the cricket match. “In contrast to immediately, there was no want for barricades or netted fences. We had orders to not enable drums and trumpets into the stands however we couldn’t management it. However, an honest sport-loving crowd was having a carnival on their first take a look at match expertise at dwelling,” says Seetharam who was a 26-year-old Inspector of Police hooked up to the Karnataka Armed Reserve then.
Septuagenarian Maruthi Rao was on the western stands within the stadium from day one to look at the match. “I used to be working in Bellary then and managed to get a Rs 250 season ticket. The pavilion ticket was priced at Rs 275 which I couldn’t afford. I used to be a giant fan of BS Chandrasekhar. I got here particularly to look at him bowl. He didn’t disappoint. He took 4 wickets within the first innings and two within the second. He dismissed the debutant Viv Richards in each innings and he additionally claimed Clive Lloyd’s scalp,” says the retired banker.
The primary Check match was a festive event for Bangaloreans with most faculties declaring holidays and town sporting a carnival search for six days. Whereas some collected images and autographs from the large sporting occasion, Bangalore vintage fanatic and historian Kiran Natarajan has a singular memorabilia, a cigarette case made unique for the gamers and supporting employees of the match. “Restricted items had been made for the match and distributed. I managed to supply one from England after a few years. It’s a nice piece of historical past commemorating Bangalore’s first Check 46 years in the past – and a recreation graced by the sport’s greats,” Natarajan says.
The unique rating sheet of the match from Nov 22-27, 1974 utilized by the All India Radio’s commentary crew
The 1974 Check was additionally broadcast stay on TV, which was fairly a giant deal in these instances. Given the extent of curiosity within the match within the metropolis, many faculties and academic establishments formally – or unofficially – declared a vacation. Many locations employed black and white tv units and relayed the match for charges between 50p to Rs 2. TV units had been even positioned exterior the stadium and screened the proceedings to giant teams of followers gathered close to the stadium. Broadcast was by way of a specifically engineered relay from the TV station in Madras
India misplaced the match by 267 runs, however whereas the end result could have been disappointing for the followers, the viewers bought to see some nice cricket. In addition they witnessed what would develop into one of many best cricket groups within the recreation’s historical past – Clive Lloyd’s Windies – in motion.