During a Test between India and West Indies in 1974-75, play came to a halt due to some trouble in the spectator’s stand at Wankhede stadium. Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shankarrao Chavan then asked Merchant to address the crowd. Once Merchant asked the spectators, the aggressive crowd calmed down and the match was resumed.
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Motivational Story – Cricketer Mohammed Siraj who comes from a poor family and never went to Coaching Academy
Siraj comes from a poor and humble background. His family lived in a small rented flat in Banjara Hills. Siraj’s father, Ghouse Mohammad, is an auto driver by profession and the family has been relying on him for the past 30 years. The cricketer, however, said that his father doesn’t have to drive an auto anymore for a living. Siraj never went to a coaching academy. When he made his debut in Ranji Trophy, he ended the season with 41 wickets.
Today, I remember my first income playing cricket. It was a club match and my maternal uncle was the captain of the team. I got 9 wickets for 20 odd runs in that 25-over game. My uncle was so happy he gave me Rs 500 as a prize. It was a great feeling. But today when the bid was raised to Rs 2.6 crore, I just went numb.
My father has been driving his auto rickshaw for the last 30 years. I urged him to stop, but he did not pay heed to my request. I’m confident of convincing him now. He needs a good rest.
I am often asked: why didn’t you play for India like your father Dilip Sardesai? My answer is simple: a politician’s son or daughter has a fair chance of getting elected and becoming a member of a legislative assembly or Parliament or even prime minister; a business house may actively promote hereditary succession; an actor may produce a film for a star-son but a Test cricketer’s son cannot wear the India cap without being one of the 11 most talented players in the country. As my father would routinely remind me, “I am not going to be there to score runs for you on the pitch, you have to do it!”