Amol Muzumdar. What is that first thing that comes to your mind when you read or hear about the diminutively built right-handed batsman from Mumbai? Outrageously talented? A run-machine? One of the biggest talents who never played for India? A batting wizard?
Muzumdar is an amalgamation of the aforementioned fact and his story is another vivid testification of the fact that no matter how talented you are, you need some amount of luck to make it to international cricket especially in a cricket-mad country like India.
Former all-rounder-turned commentator and now the Head coach of the Indian cricket team, Ravi Shastri took to Twitter on Friday to share a throwback photo featuring him and the domestic giant Amol Muzumdar.
Hailing Muzumdar as a Ranji Trophy giant, Ravi Shastri once again iterated that it was Indian cricket’s biggest loss to not see Muzumdar don whites in International cricket.
“With one of #RanjiTrophy giants – @amolmuzumdar11. My last season was his first. I still believe it was #TeamIndia’s loss to not see him in whites. #GentleGiant #Mumbai @MumbaiCricAssoc
With one of #RanjiTrophy giants – @amolmuzumdar11. My last season was his first. I still believe it was #TeamIndia’s loss to not see him in whites. #GentleGiant #Mumbai @MumbaiCricAssoc pic.twitter.com/vf5IAHd6Ol
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) May 22, 2020
Amol Muzumdar will go down as one of the greatest domestic cricketers who never played for India
Coming back to Amol Muzumdar’s career, few people know that he was the one who was padded up to bat next for Shardashram English school when Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli were accumulating a world-record 664-run stand back in 1988.
Muzumdar, however, made full use of whatever opportunities came his way. He racked up a brilliant 260 on his First-Class debut against Haryana and was soon hailed as the next big thing in Indian cricket.
Muzumdar was the vice-captain of the Indian U-19 team in 1994 where he played alongside future Indian legends in Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. Both Ganguly and Dravid went on to play for India soon thereafter but for Muzumdar, that opportunity never arrived.
The right-handed batsman finally called it quits from First-Class cricket after having played five years for Assam from 2009 to 2014, but not before he had amassed 11167 runs in 171 First-Class games with the help of 30 centuries and 60 fifties.
Post his retirement, Muzumdar plied his trade in coaching and he now holds a high-performance coaching certificate from the BCCI, Cricket Australia as well the United Kingdom through Lancashire and Yorkshire.
Muzumdar has coached India U-19 and U-23 sides besides his stint with Rajasthan Royals and the South African cricket team last year.
It’s a real pity that Amol Muzumdar did not get a single opportunity to represent India. And, there will forever be a question of cricket fanatics who grew up watching cricket in the 1990s- Did we miss out from seeing another potential legend play for India? In my view, it’s an overwhelming yes!