Test cricket July 20, 2011

'Learning curve was incomplete without an England tour'

Former cricketer Nari Contractor, who led India to a historic series victory against the English in the '60s, talks to DNA's Gautam Sheth on his experiences of playing in England.

Former cricketer Nari Contractor, who led India to a historic series victory against the English in the '60s, talks to DNA's Gautam Sheth on his experiences of playing in England.

“In those days, we would rarely get a chance to play in England, we believed that education in cricket was incomplete till we didn’t play in England.” Contractor felt that the conditions in England were always treacherous in some sense. The 78-year-old, who played in 31 Tests, said uncovered strips and unpredictable weather didn’t help their cause as they had very little protection too. “Helmets were an unknown commodity then and we players made thigh guards with a chunk of sponge or rubber."

Avijit Ghosh, writing in the Times of India, remembers the time India and England scored 588 runs in a single day of Test cricket in 1936.

Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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