Our Thiruvananthapauram has hosted two international matches in the past and both games were played at the University Stadium.
It was the cricketing equivalent of hosting the Beatles. Viv Richards, Gordon Greenidge, Richie Richardson, Winston Benjamin, Patrick Patterson, the visiting West Indies team had an eye-popping array of stars.The newcomer was the hero of the day . He crushed India’s challenge just as easily as he chewed the ever-present gum in his mouth scoring an unbeaten century in the game they beat India by nine wickets. The crowds in the, Thiruvananthapuram, were entertained to the hilt. As they took away a bagful of memories, on January 25, 1988, for the organizers it was a moment of vindication, having successfully hosted an international match with limited resources.
During his long association with the in various capacities, S K Nair travelled to most of the iconic cricket venues in the world and that too on occasions of the biggest matches the sport has to offer, like the 2003 World Cup final in Johannesburg.That said, there is a glow in his eyes when he talks about being part of the organizing team for that 1988 ODI. “A lot of people don’t even know about the 1984 ODI between India and Australia which was abandoned due to rain after the first innings. The West Indies match was a matter of pride for all of us and it was a herculean task.There was a paucity of funds. We had to be innovative in providing the infrastructure,“ said Nair who was the joint-secretary of the KCA at that time.Around 20,000-25,000 people witnessed the match.
The University Stadium was not designed for cricket. It was built for athletics and football and temporary pavilions had to be made. “We had no other ground. But the players, even though they were big stars, were ac commodative,“ said ACM Abdulla, former KCA secretary .
Abdulla, now 85, still follows cricket keenly . He will be coming to the Sports Hub on Tuesday to see the return of international cricket to the state capital after a long wait of nearly 30 years.
As the new millennium approached, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi became the new home of cricket in Kerala. Nair, who played a key role in the conduct of the initial few ODIs in Kochi, believes it is time for the state association to have its own facility so that Kerala would get more matches. For the moment, he is as excited as any other Keralite. “There’s going to be huge euphoria. Cricket is a game that unites the nation. I am sure this T20 match will also see such a coming together of people,“ he said.
Player Of The Series
Player Of The Match
The India-Australia One-Day International (ODI) played on October 1, 1984, was the first-ever International match to be played in Kerala. However, rain played spoilsport and the match had to be abandoned. Australian captain Kim Hughes won the toss and put the hosts in to bat in a game reduced to 37-overs-a-side.
India were bowled out for 175 in 37 overs, with Dilip Vengsarkar making a fine 77. Carl Rackemann rocked the Indian top order and returned miserly figures of 3/7 from his eight overs. Left-arm spinner Lom Logan picked up 4/33, including the prized scalp of Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar.
Australia, who were set a revised target of 146 in 32 overs, were 29/1 in 7.4 overs when rain ended the contest.