Mumbai star that lost its light
The Indian Express' Bharat Sunderesan hunts down Anil Gurav, who was a batting sensation in Mumbai before Tendulkar's arrival, and one who Tendulkar admired. Today Gurav lives in a tiny room, haunted by memories of the game and of harrassment by the police, and struggles with an alcohol problem.
"Sachin was always special. He had all the shots and a great temperament. He also was blessed in a way, everything happened at the right time for him. Most importantly, he had a great background," says Gurav. "Background is everything," he adds, after a pause.
Gurav should know. Around the time he was scoring his big hits in the maidan, younger brother Ajit was climbing the ranks elsewhere -- as a sharp-shooter for a famous local gang in Parel, where the Guravs originally hail from. As Gurav moved from Western Railway to New India Assurance for better cricketing opportunities, Ajit rose into the upper echelons of crime, bringing the city police in hot pursuit.