In the glorious history of Indian cricket, the city of Mumbai has produced numerous stalwarts of the game in every era. The likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma are all valuable contributions from the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
The entire heritage takes huge pride in their style of play, and the dynasty is blatantly critical of the cricketers who do not follow the set of guidelines set forth by their predecessors.
Former Indian international, Sanjay Manjrekar once faced such a situation where he was treated as the ‘Black Sheep’ of Mumbai cricket due to his selfishness.
“This was a limited overs match, I was on the threshold of playing for India. As it turned out, I had to go and bat in the last 7-8 overs the slog overs. I was thinking to myself that if I go out there and I try to score runs and get out, it would be a failure and my chances of playing or India would be hampered,” described the Mumbai batsman.
However, Lalchand Rajput did not appreciate Manjrekar’s selfish thinking and gave a look of disdain to the latter. Fellow Mumbai cricketer, Ravi Shastri, a country-mile away from the action further seconded Rajput and lashed out at Manjrekar during a net session due to his selfishness.
“So, I told Lalchand Rajput if it was possible for me to bat down the order. Even if I get in, I won’t get a big score, it was not going to help my case into the Indian team. Lalchand Rajput didn’t like the way I was thinking. He agreed but the expression he had and the reaction I got from him clearly told me that I had diminished in the eyes as a cricketer,” explained Sanjay Manjrekar according to his interview with The Quint.
Ravi Shastri. (Photo credit should read MARK GRAHAM/AFP/Getty Images)
“A few months later, while having a net session with Ravi Shastri, I smacked one into the stands of Wankhede Stadium. Ravi on his follow through came and asked me ‘Why couldn’t you hit like that in those last 7-8 overs? Why did you cop out of the situation?” augmented the renowned commentator.
Manjrekar, when asked about Mumbai School of batting, concluded by saying backing down from challenges has no place in their book and the batsmen have to face the music who choose to do so.
“I was shocked because Ravi was nowhere close to that match where I had done that. For him to know about that and feel as strongly as Rajput did, just shows the way Mumbai Cricketing world thinks and how gossip goes around. The moment a cricketer shirks a challenge, he almost gets crucified and becomes the black sheep of Mumbai Cricket family,” concluded the 52-year old.