Mumbai: His batting was as flamboyant as his personality and that is precisely the reason why Salim Durrani's teammates had loads of anecdotes to share during the player's felicitation here.
Taking a trip down the memory lane, the stylish left-hander who played for India in the 1960s and early 70s and was known to hit six on demand, said that his habit of trying to please the crowd had cost him many hundreds. "Many a times, I got out in the 80s when I should have got centuries because of this," he said.
Durrani, recalled the exploits of Col Nayudu in a domestic match that he played while representing Rajasthan in 1958. "I played for Rajasthan against Colonel Sahab, who was 64 at that time. He was representing Uttar Pradesh in the match at Benaras. In our team, we had great players like Subhash Gupte and Vinoo Mankad. I remember him hitting two sixes in that knock including one from the backfoot off Mankad that went out of the stadium."
Former India cricketer Chandu Borde, who was Durrani's room-mate when the two played together for the country, recalled the left-hander's popularity and magnanimity. "Being his room-mate was a great responsibility, whether I should live in the room or not was a big question. Such was his popularity with both the genders."
Borde recollected the magnanimity of Durrani which made him known as "Prince Salim" among his folks.
"We used to receive Rs 250 in those days. He (Durrani) used to be in the company of 'Maharajahs' and some of their generosity rubbed on him too. He gave treat to his friends even when he himself could not afford to pay the hotel bills. "The hotel owner who used to get smitten with his charm allowed him to leave without paying the bill," he recollected. Former India skipper Ajit Wadekar, who led the country to back-to-back series victories in the West Indies and England, recalled Durrani's contribution in shaping up India's first Test win in the West Indies in 1970-71.
"I didn't get too many opportunities to bat with him. Whatever chances I had, I was mesmerised with his batting. But I had to always tell him to keep his calm and not lose his wicket getting swayed by public's demand(for sixer)," he added.
Prior to the function, Pawar, who is the incumbent Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) president, said he was yet to take a call on contesting the upcoming MCA polls and that he would announce his decision at an appropriate time.
"There is still time for it. I will let you know about my decision at the right time," he said. "I have not filled my nomination form as yet. I have not decided on wh"I have been associated with many sports associations.
I have worked as MCA chief, as well as BCCI president and am now the ICC chief. But I have always believed that political ideology should not be mixed with sports administration." He added that prior to him, Manohar Joshi was the MCA president and even he never brought politics into it.
"I have worked alongside Joshi, Arun Jaitley, but we have never brought politics into it. I have never interfered in cricket matches. Cricket affairs have been left to the cricketers," he said.
Pawar also recalled that when he became the MCA president, it had liability of Rs 6 crore, but during his tenure, the association hosted the World Cup final, renovated the Wankhede stadium at a cost of over Rs 200 crore, besides having the best indoor facility in the country.
Although Pawar stated that he is yet to decide on contesting the polls, MCA sources, however, insisted that he would contest.ether I'll contest the election (for another term as president of MCA)," he added.
On Shiv Sena declaring its support for his rival Dilip Vengsarkar, the NCP chief said he always tried to keep politics away from sports administration.
Story first published on: Monday, 04 July 2011 09:52 IST