No Fs, no Bs
Javagal Srinath's retirement from international cricket had been on the cards for a while now, but it nevertheless took everyone by surprise, as he had earlier expressed his desire to tour Australia for one last time. Here is what the newspapers had to say:
The Times of India wrote that "Srinath's vocabulary didn't include the Fs and Bs when he beat the batsmen or was struck for a boundary. That is the copyright of the modern day fast bowler ... yes, he didn't have the guile of a Richard Hadlee, the persistence of a Glenn McGrath or the incisiveness of an Allan Donald. But underneath the India crest on his shirt, Babu's [Srinath's nickname] heart often helped him achieve performances that scripted famous Indian wins. Can a cricket-mad nation ask for more?"
Srinath's former bowling partner and good friend, Venkatesh Prasad, wrote in The Indian Express that "Srinath took his big leap, making the Indian team in 1991, but he would always come back to Bangalore and talk to me and the other youngsters about his experiences. The most painful period was the time when he had to return from the West Indies in 1997 with a shoulder injury. He left such a huge void. I felt I'd lost my left arm. More than just a fellow bowler, he was like an elder brother who repeatedly fought with the team management and argued for my inclusion. Off the field he's got a great sense of humour. Very dry, so you won't understand it at first."
The Asian Age carried the views of Rajan Bala, the veteran journalist, who wrote, "It is with deep regret, as a lover of the game and an admirer of the man and the bowler, that one has to accept the retirement of Javagal Srinath. As one who has been privileged to watch and comment upon his best bowling displays at home, in England in 1996 and in South Africa in 1996-97, I can say that he made me feel proud to be an Indian."
The Hindu called Srinath "one of those few pacemen who relished bowling at southpaws, seaming the ball across the blade." The newspaper also carried the reactions of Sourav Ganguly and Ricky Ponting. Ganguly said that Srinath had been a wonderful team-man and bowler while Ponting called him one of India's finest pacemen.
Rediff.com carried the reactions of the members of the Indian team. Sachin Tendulkar said, "he always gave his best for India, no matter what the match situation. He was a great man in the dressing room. His humour was great and he always made his team-mates feel alive, even after a tough day." Anil Kumble said, "I will always remember the sight of Javagal Srinath running up fast from his bowling mark and scaring batsmen. He changed Indian cricket in his own way."