August 29, 2012

Indian cricket

A coach who laughed his way to glory

Akhila Ranganna

In the Times of India, Makarand Waingankar profiles former Mumbai player and coach Vasu Paranjpe, whom he describes as " a cricketer who won matches through words".

Winning at any cost is not his philosophy. Winning was certainly important, but not by twisting the rules. He bravely took many calculated risks. While captaining Dadar Union, he would declare at 2 down 70. While his team would be wondering at his decision, he would have pocketed an outright win by tea time in the Kanga League.

Sunil Gavaskar says, “I think Vasu had the best sense of repartee that I have ever come across. He was a skipper who led from the front, always looking for ways to win a game. A terrific fielder and a hardhitting batsman, his major strengths were giving confidence to youngsters that they could beat anybody. He had endless stories and anecdotes about various players and was entertaining with a capital E. A wonderful company and a must have for after dinner speeches.”

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Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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