Brad­man, an ob­scure In­dian bowler and a

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - [email protected] times­

New Delhi: A non-reg­u­lar bowler shrewdly in­tro­duced to the at­tack by In­dia’s cap­tain Lala Amar­nath to stop Aussie ace Don­ald Brad­man from reach­ing his 100th first-class cen­tury was at the cen­tre of a Rs 7 crore ques­tion in a game show on Fri­day.

The ques­tion was: “Who was the In­dian bowler off whom Aus­tralian leg­end Don Brad­man got a sin­gle to reach his 100th first class cen­tury?” The choices were (a) Baqa Ji­lani (b) C Ran­gachari (c) G Kishen­c­hand (d) Kan­war Rai Singh.

Sanoj Raj from Je­han­abad, Bi­har, did not know the an­swer — G Kishen­c­hand — and preferred to walk away with what he had earned till then, Rs 1 crore, in KBC 2019, hosted by Amitabh Bachchan.

But the lit­tle-known back story be­hind Amar­nath’s out-ofthe-box move is even more fas­ci­nat­ing. Don’s 100th first-class cen­tury came on Nov 15, 1947 at the Syd­ney Cricket Ground.

It was not a Test match but a game played be­tween an Aus­tralian XI and the In­di­ans, on their first away tour af­ter the coun­try had gained in­de­pen­dence. Yet there was tremen­dous ex­pec­ta­tion in the public. In his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, ‘Farewell to Cricket’, Brad­man re­counted, “Even in the most ex­cit­ing Test Match I can never re­mem­ber a more emo­tional crowd, not a more elec­tric at­mos­phere.”

In a biography of his father, Lala Amar­nath: Life and Times, Ra­jen­der Amar­nath wrote, “Thou­sands poured into the ground to see Brad­man become the first Aus­tralian to reach the mile­stone of a hun­dred first-class He had not bowled be­fore and I had no idea what type of bowler he was, re­called Brad­man about Amar­nath calling up Kishen­c­hand to bowl

hun­dreds. The In­di­ans bat­ted first on a good track…the fall of each wicket was loudly cheered, as the large crowd had come to see their

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