The life and times of Sadanand Viswanath September 5, 2008

'I stepped out of the whirlpool'

An account of the highs and lows in the life of former Indian wicketkeeper Sadanand Viswanath who now revels in his role as umpire in domestic Indian cricket
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Back then: Sadanand Viswanath with a fan © Mid Day
 

Fame. Tragedy. A battle with the bottle. Hope. Dream. Faith. Sadanand Viswanath has been to hell and back. After 14 years as an umpire, the 'A' Test between Australia and India in Bangalore is his first major game - and, possibly, his redemption song.

"The angry young days of Vishy are over," he says as dusk descends on the Chinnaswamy Stadium. "It has been some rollercoaster ride but it's about finding peace now. I have made my share of mistakes (but) I managed to step out of the whirlpool."

Indian cricket's shooting star of the 1980s, Viswanath acquired a huge fan following with his sleight of hand behind the stumps, his boisterous camaraderie with seniors and his flamboyant personality. Sunil Gavaskar, in his book One-Day Wonders, says one of the main reasons for India winning the World Championship of Cricket in 1985 "was the presence of Sadanand Viswanath behind the stumps."

"Fame does funny things," Viswanath says. "The adoration from the fans is indescribable. You have to be there to understand it."

He had it all. Then, suddenly, the lights went out.

He'd already dealt with tragedy once, when his father committed suicide - following financial problems - in 1984, a few months before he made it to the Indian team. His cricketing achievements helped overcome that but an even bigger calamity awaited.

In 1985, just before he went on the tour of Sri Lanka, his mother underwent open-heart surgery. She never recovered. That was the beginning of the end for 'Sada'; a broken finger hampered his wicketkeeping and, though he picked up six dismissals to equal the Indian record in his last Test against Sri Lanka at Kandy, he was out of the reckoning next season.

 
 
Fame does funny things. The adoration from the fans is indescribable. You have to be there to understand it. One should go out on a high and leave the public lingering with a happy memory.
 

Syed Kirmani, whom he had startled as a teenager a few years earlier while hitching a scooter ride - "Kiri, one day I will take the gloves from you" - came back with a vengeance and waiting in the wings were Kiran More and Chandrakant Pandit. Sada, emotionally vulnerable and "trying to get his life in order", couldn't handle the competition.

There followed a failed relationship and a battle with alcohol, which resulted in his giving up cricket. "Yes, I went over the limit, attended great parties where I had lots of alcohol but, luckily, I never reached the point of no return. To fill that personal void people turn to alcohol but you don't make it the core of your existence. It was about looking for affection, a shoulder to cry on ... a cry in the wilderness."

He refuses to blame anyone for that period, calling it a cause-and-effect situation. "I knew then that if I get my thoughts right and go towards my target I will get back what I achieved."

Having quit the game, he left the country and moved to the Middle East on a 14-day visa. He advertised for a job in the local papers; offers came but he was hesitant to join. "With two days left for my visa to expire, the friend who'd brought me to the Middle East introduced me to an NRI, Raghuram Shetty, who offered me a job."

His salary was 4,000 dirhams; his first paycheque was celebrated over a bottle of Johnnie Walker. But - there is always a 'but' in Sada's life - he longed for India, for home. "They told me the first year is the most difficult in the Gulf. If you survive that, you are fine. But I couldn't stay after seven months. India was where I was adored, loved and the people I cared for lived there. I returned home and rejoined my bank job [in Bangalore] after a month."

This was in 1991, and for four years he lived a relatively anonymous life. But in 1995, determined to break out of the sedentary lifestyle, he quit the bank when they transferred him out of Bangalore. The finances dried up and he moved out of his rented house into a hotel where he lived for five years.


Now: Sadanand the umpire © Mid Day
 

"Hotel Kamadenu [now closed down] offered me a room at a monthly rent of 2500 rupees, which was cheaper than the house." Sada shared a room with a chef from a five-star hotel and began thinking his way out of the mess. "Friends suggested a benefit match for me; [the then state chief minister] Ramakrishna Hegde had given me a plot of land in Bangalore after the World Championship of Cricket and I wanted to develop that."

He spoke to Imran Khan and the Pakistanis and a couple of West Indians about an India v Rest of the World game but it never happened. A few years later, a match between "Hansie Cronje's Devils" and "Indian Angels" fell through when Cronje was found guilty of match-fixing.

In between, his second innings - in the game, in life itself - began. A letter arrived from the Indian board asking if he was interested in appearing for the umpiring examinations. "Ten of us, including Kirmani, Bishen Singh Bedi and Lalchand Rajput, landed up in Hyderabad. I did well in the viva...that made me dream of living a life with cricket."

Not long after, he met officials of the Karnataka State Cricket Association [KSCA] including the secretary, the former India player Brijesh Patel, and was informed of his benefit match. "It was 2003, 16 years after I last played the game."

To ensure the money wasn't frittered away, Patel put it in a joint account with the association. Soon an auto showroom opened on his plot of land and "finally", as he says, the financial worries eased.

However, the loneliness has remained as he looks to take a bigger step in his umpiring career. "I have a coaching camp and i am busy with that for three days in a week. I have been umpiring for the past 14 years. I just wait every year for the season to start. With a promotion, I will be officiating in 15 games, instead of six games currently, which means 60 days of umpiring."

Life is certainly looking up for Sada. "Thankfully, with the help of friends, the KSCA, Brijesh Patel and the BCCI, along with my sheer determination to keep fighting, I've kept to the right path. Tomorrow nobody should say here was an Indian keeper who went down the dark abyss. That's not a good thing to hear."

"You should go out on a high and leave the public lingering with a happy memory."

Fate denied Sadanand Viswanath that exit the first time around; now he has a chance to make amends.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • fnm500 on September 10, 2008, 15:55 GMT

    Great article, thank you for publishing it and please convey my best wishes to Vishy. Touching and at the same time, inspiring story, something that we all can learn from. I will always be grateful to Vishy for the fantastic memories of the Benson & Hedges World Series cup in 1985. I was just 8 years old then, but the performance of the team then was so spectacular, I just fell in love with cricket and have been a fanatic since. I still hope after all these years that India will one day produce such a world beating team which was light years ahead of the rest. I'm not sure it will ever happen. So I think Vishy for providing us Indians that opportunity.All the best to you sir, for your second innings.

  • Atul on September 10, 2008, 12:00 GMT

    A very good read. I read about Sada in Sunny's books and the WSC highlights which are often shown on TV. All the best for the second innings, Sada.

    A word of appreciation for the BCCI as well who sent him that letter after all those years.

  • Six_Wickets on September 9, 2008, 18:43 GMT

    Dear Sriram Thank you for this unebelievable article on Sada. Among the many fans that he had captivated, I remember how his style got me behind the wickets- A position that I never took while playing. I did not get to play any high level cricket (Mom wanted to me to be an engineer, which I became!), but Sada remains etched in my memory as the benchmark in keeping. It is so nice to see his redemption. How indeed agonizing it was to hear my fallen hero and how equally elated I am to hear his redemption! I wish him to redeem his place in history behind wickets, albeit with Gloves.

  • cricketrulesdaworld on September 9, 2008, 17:54 GMT

    I was pretty young(5 or 7) when Sada played for India. And there are some things that just stick in your mind. Reading through the comments of the readers, slowly those other forgotten instances start flashing in your mind. But the one I remember even today and thats when I understood what being street smart in cricket means is when he ran out Rameez Raja (I think) in one such match he played. I remember it was colored clothing but have no idea what match that was. The Pakistanis were playing well and the other opener glanced one to deep fine leg and ran a single. The throw comes in one bounce at about knee height. Sada pretends that he didnt collect the ball and that it went through his legs and yells at the fielder who threw it. A split second decision for Rameez, who isnt sure what happened & attempts a second run. The moment he took a step out of the crease, the bails were whipped off-run out. That was Sada's flamboyance and smartness. And Rameez's sheepish look said it all.

  • ICF_Lurker on September 9, 2008, 12:43 GMT

    Thanks Moderatorji for sharing Sadanand Vishy's views. I am not sure if this a little late in the day but is it possible to have some sort of a follow up piece? I would love to read about Sadanand's memories of 1985 World series of cricket. Even though 85 WSC was nominated as India's greatest win, ahead of 83 WC, oddly enough we know little about it. So we know about Yashpal Sharmas innings in 83 semis, but little about Kapil in 85 against NZ. Since Vishy was the keeper to likes of Kapil, Binny and a very talented Shiva his analysis of them would be great as well.

    I would very much love to hear about 85 WSC, is there any chance you can satiate mine, and many like me, desires??

  • Cricinfo_Moderator on September 9, 2008, 8:54 GMT

    As the moderator, We thought our readers might like to know how Sada feels about the outpourings of genuine sentiment from them. Well, in his own words, here it comes: "Convey my greetings and thanks to all those friends who showed care and faith and for their prayers and good wishes which will hold me in good stead in my second innings. Pls post this message from me to all the readers. Thanks a lot. Regards. Vishy"

  • SriramS on September 8, 2008, 21:43 GMT

    Very nice to see Sadanand in news after a long long time. I vividly remember the WSC Benson & Hedges in Aus, 1985 which India won. One of the architects was Sadanand Vishy along with Kris, Ravi, Lax and Kaps. Wondering where he has gone all these years... Good Luck and Best Wishes in your second innings.

    Sriram S USA

  • cricket2454 on September 8, 2008, 19:21 GMT

    sadanand vishwanath-was one of the most naturally gifted wicketkeepers i have seen-he had personal problems-as an admirer of his cricketing abilities-i wish him all the best-this boy when he came into the indian team was absolutely stunning- with warm regards, dr. ramdas rai

  • Deepak_Padmakumar on September 8, 2008, 12:51 GMT

    One thing you have not touched upon is Vishy Sir's coaching. He used to coach at NAL Grounds in Bangalore. He was a source of inspiration for many kids like me. He wanted us not just too be good cricketers, but excellent human beings and he did all he could for us. I remember when my parents told me to go there first. I was quite upset to leave BPCA but I am eternally grateful to my parents for forcing the change.

    My years with him taught me a great deal, about not just cricket, but life. Despite monetary troubles, which all us kids knew he had(this was his Hotel Kamadenu days), the passion for the game was unmistakable, and sometimes quite overwhelming. The love for the sport, and the love for us kids was genuine and there for all to see. I hope to visit him when I get back home, and I hope he remembers me as fondly as I remember him.

  • Rajeshtheboss on September 8, 2008, 10:01 GMT

    Thanks a lot Sriram to let us know about this Gentleman..I still remember a Ranji match between TamilNadu Vs Karnataka in MAC,Madras where he hit a straight six which just went above my Head..After the session was over he came to me and enquire everything was fine....All the best Sada..When i come to India i vl definitely see one of your matches...Would like to see you in Elite panel soon...

  • fnm500 on September 10, 2008, 15:55 GMT

    Great article, thank you for publishing it and please convey my best wishes to Vishy. Touching and at the same time, inspiring story, something that we all can learn from. I will always be grateful to Vishy for the fantastic memories of the Benson & Hedges World Series cup in 1985. I was just 8 years old then, but the performance of the team then was so spectacular, I just fell in love with cricket and have been a fanatic since. I still hope after all these years that India will one day produce such a world beating team which was light years ahead of the rest. I'm not sure it will ever happen. So I think Vishy for providing us Indians that opportunity.All the best to you sir, for your second innings.

  • Atul on September 10, 2008, 12:00 GMT

    A very good read. I read about Sada in Sunny's books and the WSC highlights which are often shown on TV. All the best for the second innings, Sada.

    A word of appreciation for the BCCI as well who sent him that letter after all those years.

  • Six_Wickets on September 9, 2008, 18:43 GMT

    Dear Sriram Thank you for this unebelievable article on Sada. Among the many fans that he had captivated, I remember how his style got me behind the wickets- A position that I never took while playing. I did not get to play any high level cricket (Mom wanted to me to be an engineer, which I became!), but Sada remains etched in my memory as the benchmark in keeping. It is so nice to see his redemption. How indeed agonizing it was to hear my fallen hero and how equally elated I am to hear his redemption! I wish him to redeem his place in history behind wickets, albeit with Gloves.

  • cricketrulesdaworld on September 9, 2008, 17:54 GMT

    I was pretty young(5 or 7) when Sada played for India. And there are some things that just stick in your mind. Reading through the comments of the readers, slowly those other forgotten instances start flashing in your mind. But the one I remember even today and thats when I understood what being street smart in cricket means is when he ran out Rameez Raja (I think) in one such match he played. I remember it was colored clothing but have no idea what match that was. The Pakistanis were playing well and the other opener glanced one to deep fine leg and ran a single. The throw comes in one bounce at about knee height. Sada pretends that he didnt collect the ball and that it went through his legs and yells at the fielder who threw it. A split second decision for Rameez, who isnt sure what happened & attempts a second run. The moment he took a step out of the crease, the bails were whipped off-run out. That was Sada's flamboyance and smartness. And Rameez's sheepish look said it all.

  • ICF_Lurker on September 9, 2008, 12:43 GMT

    Thanks Moderatorji for sharing Sadanand Vishy's views. I am not sure if this a little late in the day but is it possible to have some sort of a follow up piece? I would love to read about Sadanand's memories of 1985 World series of cricket. Even though 85 WSC was nominated as India's greatest win, ahead of 83 WC, oddly enough we know little about it. So we know about Yashpal Sharmas innings in 83 semis, but little about Kapil in 85 against NZ. Since Vishy was the keeper to likes of Kapil, Binny and a very talented Shiva his analysis of them would be great as well.

    I would very much love to hear about 85 WSC, is there any chance you can satiate mine, and many like me, desires??

  • Cricinfo_Moderator on September 9, 2008, 8:54 GMT

    As the moderator, We thought our readers might like to know how Sada feels about the outpourings of genuine sentiment from them. Well, in his own words, here it comes: "Convey my greetings and thanks to all those friends who showed care and faith and for their prayers and good wishes which will hold me in good stead in my second innings. Pls post this message from me to all the readers. Thanks a lot. Regards. Vishy"

  • SriramS on September 8, 2008, 21:43 GMT

    Very nice to see Sadanand in news after a long long time. I vividly remember the WSC Benson & Hedges in Aus, 1985 which India won. One of the architects was Sadanand Vishy along with Kris, Ravi, Lax and Kaps. Wondering where he has gone all these years... Good Luck and Best Wishes in your second innings.

    Sriram S USA

  • cricket2454 on September 8, 2008, 19:21 GMT

    sadanand vishwanath-was one of the most naturally gifted wicketkeepers i have seen-he had personal problems-as an admirer of his cricketing abilities-i wish him all the best-this boy when he came into the indian team was absolutely stunning- with warm regards, dr. ramdas rai

  • Deepak_Padmakumar on September 8, 2008, 12:51 GMT

    One thing you have not touched upon is Vishy Sir's coaching. He used to coach at NAL Grounds in Bangalore. He was a source of inspiration for many kids like me. He wanted us not just too be good cricketers, but excellent human beings and he did all he could for us. I remember when my parents told me to go there first. I was quite upset to leave BPCA but I am eternally grateful to my parents for forcing the change.

    My years with him taught me a great deal, about not just cricket, but life. Despite monetary troubles, which all us kids knew he had(this was his Hotel Kamadenu days), the passion for the game was unmistakable, and sometimes quite overwhelming. The love for the sport, and the love for us kids was genuine and there for all to see. I hope to visit him when I get back home, and I hope he remembers me as fondly as I remember him.

  • Rajeshtheboss on September 8, 2008, 10:01 GMT

    Thanks a lot Sriram to let us know about this Gentleman..I still remember a Ranji match between TamilNadu Vs Karnataka in MAC,Madras where he hit a straight six which just went above my Head..After the session was over he came to me and enquire everything was fine....All the best Sada..When i come to India i vl definitely see one of your matches...Would like to see you in Elite panel soon...

  • 12kris on September 8, 2008, 8:43 GMT

    Maybe Vishy remembers the architect who went out of his way to pursue the construction of his building which resulted in the turn around of his financial fortunes???

  • andyob on September 8, 2008, 4:56 GMT

    As a friend, fan and former journalist who wrote about Sada I was very pleased to read the story that he is settled and doing well. We were the same age when he played for India and I wrote for Sportsworld (1983-1996), edited by Tiger Pataudi. Those were heady young days and Sada you will be pleased to know that I too have settled down hahahaha! We all mellow withy age. If you are ever in Australia pls get in touch with me. Thanks you to those who have supported this guy who despite his sometimes crazy ways is deep in his heart is a genuine and harmless person who can do no harm to anyone. cheers mate. I have now broken my promise not to participate in online comments on sport. But this was for Sada so it is worth breaking that promise. cheers mate. thanks Seeram. And can you pls pass this on to THE MAN!

  • shankars_11 on September 7, 2008, 20:52 GMT

    Mr Plumbinfront,

    While sriram veera may not know intimate workings of fate, I am sure you are not an authority on intimate workings of personal tragedies on an individual. It is in utter distaste to pick on a sentence out of context and pass your judgments on 'fate' and 'coping with personal tragedies'. Comparing the losses of Sada with that of Tendulkar and Greenidge is a shameful insensitive act.

    I understand from the article nobody is shirking any responsibility. Sada clearly says he went over the limit and wanted to get his thoughts right and go towards his target. Please be a little more sensitive atleast when you post comments on other people's misfortune.

  • OrthoDon on September 7, 2008, 20:16 GMT

    Welcome Back Vishy! Good to read abt Vishy's comeback. In fact just a couple of days back, when i was reading the scorecard of the 'A' test, i was pleasantly surprised to find out that Vishy was officiating. I was lucky to know Vishy thru a common friend, way back in the 80's. We all saw him loosing his way, but now that he's got his life back on track, i'm sure he'll succeed. I'll never forget Vishy cheering me on when i played a state championship Badminton Finals at B'lore in 1982, in fact he was the only one in the crowd who was rooting for me!! And i was happy i won that tournament, cos the celebrity Vishy rushed on court to hug me! That, for me, was the icing on the cake!

    Anyways, Vishy, if ur reading this, I wish you All the very best, god Bless you Pal. And dont look back, just aim for the stars now!!

    Cheers.

    Dr Prabhat Shetty

  • rockx on September 7, 2008, 17:31 GMT

    Wonderful article by Sriram. Its great to hear that one of my childhood heroes is now starting to do well again in life and in cricket. Sadanand Vishwanath and Laxman Sivaramakrishnan were the most prodigiously talented cricketers of the mid 80s and its tragic that they never realised their true potenital as cricketers. But its good to know both are now doing well, with LS having made a name for himself in the commentary box.

    Cheers, SV and LS and thanks to Cricinfo for these wonderful stories.

  • Etrnlwanderer on September 7, 2008, 17:30 GMT

    No other one action brings Sada to mind more than this one instance: Javed Miandad st Viswanath b Sivaramakrishnan .... that was a flash that sealed the final for India and Sada was the creator to that piece de resistance. Always wondered what happened to a maverick like Sada, but now I know. Glad to know you're fighting the hard fight man. Way to go, India is with you, always will be. Just know, we were privileged to see you in action in 1985...looking forward to seeing you again.

  • VenkVishy on September 7, 2008, 12:33 GMT

    Sadanand Vishy was propably the best wicketkeeper We (India) has ever had. Rightly said by Sunny about Vishy's importance in 1985 Benson and Hedges cup. He was the most flashy and the most encouraging of Indian wicket-keepers. Kirmani was very good but in my opinion S Vishy was great in keeping to all types of bowling, fast and spin. His style and flash while stumping is amoung the best in the world. The way he does a stumping and asks the leg umpire for his decision is still in my eyes !! I really wish him real great success in his 2nd Innings of Cricket. It's really sad to note his personal problems he faced. May GOD be with him and keep him in good spirits for ever from now on. My sincere prayers for you Vishy.

  • DennistheMenace on September 6, 2008, 23:33 GMT

    Great news to hear that Sadanand is back. I had the privilege to play along side him during our days with Syndicate Bank back in the early 1980's when he made it into the Indian Team. I vividly remember the Hindu Trophy final played at the Chinnaswamy stadium about a year before the world cup in India. The game was being used to test the cameras and as a practice session for the commentary crew including Bishen Bedi, etc. We scored some 180 runs and State Bank began their chase and were soon one down with Sadanand bringing off a brilliant leg side catch of Raghunath. He then proceeded to stand up to the stumps and effected a leg side stumping that would have been out had there been the third umpire referral back then. I have seen him keeping and batting from up close and envied his talent. Things would have been different had he applied himself. Its good to know that he has got his life back together. All the best Vishy. I now live in Canada but will be following his new career.

  • krik8crazy on September 6, 2008, 15:32 GMT

    I am happy to know that Sada hs turned his life around. The last I read about him was that he was living in a hotel room. I remember the WSC in 1985 where he wowed viewers with his acrobatic wicket keeping. I didn't know he was dealing with such huge personal tragedies when he started his international career. Cricketers like him with their cheerful personality make the game popular and interesting. I wish him all the best for his second innings.

  • ICF_Lurker on September 6, 2008, 15:13 GMT

    Excellent article. Thanks much to Sriram for doing this piece. As a cricket fan who saw Sadanand Vishwanath in action in 85 I had always wondered what happened to him. I remember reading in Sportsworld, then edited by MAK Pataudi, that he had some personal struggle due to loss of parents and this article confirms it. I can now completely understand what happened to the maverick. Sadanand Vishwanath if you are reading this let me say Indian cricket fans still remember you very very fondly. You have not been forgotten. Best of luck for future.

  • plumbinfront on September 6, 2008, 13:59 GMT

    Its foolish to say "Fate denied Sadanand Viswanath that exit the first time around" and dump all blame on everything other than personal responsibility. Is Sriram Veera saying this because he knows the intimate workings of Fate? I know how personal responsibility works and suspect that it, or the lack of it, is what is responsible for Sadas abyss.

    There are many examples of cricketers who have overcome the loss of loved ones and done well in their cricket, Greenidge scoring a (double?) hundred after the loss of his child, Tendulkars hundred vs Kenya after the loss of his father, come to mind. They did'nt take to the bottle, they took to the bat. They made their choice to overcome the circumstance.

    Of course, we should all be happy for Sada that he is finally choosing the path of responsibility and we wish him well. But I would suggest that Sriram Veera stick to what he knows and not give us this clap trap about "Fate".

  • Sajeeva on September 6, 2008, 13:48 GMT

    Its wonderful to hear about Sada after a long time.Thanks cricinfo for bringing him back to the lime light. We Sri Lankans allways admired Sada for his bravery in the 1985 World championship. It was very sad to see him loosing his place in the Indian side after the 1985 SriLankan series.I think had he got the support of a reserve wicket keeper in that series, he would have done better. Hope & pray that his second innings in Cricket will be a long and a happy one.

  • firestarter on September 6, 2008, 13:09 GMT

    Thanks for this article...it was pretty touching. I knew that Sada was in some kinda trouble...but didn't know the details. I still have memories of the WCC matches. He was then considered as the yound blood of Indian cricket...his aggression and passion for Cricket esp WK gave me goose pimples. He met fire with fire, pushed bowlers to give their best...and top of all the way he celebrated each wicket used give me goosepimples.

    Glad to know Sada is on track again. All the best Sada!!!

    cheers, -Pras

  • JD09 on September 6, 2008, 11:01 GMT

    The first time true story of the great Sada has come to his fans notice. In childhood his antics make me wear keeper's gloves. A highly talented and intelligent Wicket Keeper but due to share of unfortunate incidence could not become Great. However God has given him another chance to be attached with Cricket. Wishing him all the best, and we will always remember as a wonderful Keeper and great fighter.

  • ParamIyer on September 6, 2008, 10:54 GMT

    Thanks Cricinfo and Sriram Veera. An article that shows life is a humble teacher. One has to admire Sada to comeback after so much has gone through. When the WC of cricket happened I was quite small but have heard lots about his WK and as I used to watch videos of the matches admired his glovework :-) A small note of thanks to all those who helped him in life and wishing his 2nd innings in cricket be turn out to be a long one.

  • jude_the_obscure on September 6, 2008, 8:20 GMT

    Its a wonderful article about one of our childhood heroes, a supremely talented cricketer-the never so great yet wonderful Sadanand Vishwanath. His life-his comeback from the dark alleys demonstrates his never say die spirit with which he played his game...Dear Sada-we surely want you to be back in the sunny days. The Supreme Umpire has allowed you another chance to the arena-u deserve a glorious life...all the best...from a believer of the human spirit & values...

  • rahjay on September 6, 2008, 8:01 GMT

    What a touching article. Kudos to Cricinfo and Sriram Veera. As cricket enthusiasts, writers and readers, we are constantly inundated with the tiniest of minutiae about the Tendulkars, Laras and Pontings while forgetting the big story behind the small guys of the game. This piece is in fact stuff for a film script. Hope Cricinfo also gives more attention to the human stories behind the middle-of-the-road cricketer's lives more. Thanks and congratulations.

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  • rahjay on September 6, 2008, 8:01 GMT

    What a touching article. Kudos to Cricinfo and Sriram Veera. As cricket enthusiasts, writers and readers, we are constantly inundated with the tiniest of minutiae about the Tendulkars, Laras and Pontings while forgetting the big story behind the small guys of the game. This piece is in fact stuff for a film script. Hope Cricinfo also gives more attention to the human stories behind the middle-of-the-road cricketer's lives more. Thanks and congratulations.

  • jude_the_obscure on September 6, 2008, 8:20 GMT

    Its a wonderful article about one of our childhood heroes, a supremely talented cricketer-the never so great yet wonderful Sadanand Vishwanath. His life-his comeback from the dark alleys demonstrates his never say die spirit with which he played his game...Dear Sada-we surely want you to be back in the sunny days. The Supreme Umpire has allowed you another chance to the arena-u deserve a glorious life...all the best...from a believer of the human spirit & values...

  • ParamIyer on September 6, 2008, 10:54 GMT

    Thanks Cricinfo and Sriram Veera. An article that shows life is a humble teacher. One has to admire Sada to comeback after so much has gone through. When the WC of cricket happened I was quite small but have heard lots about his WK and as I used to watch videos of the matches admired his glovework :-) A small note of thanks to all those who helped him in life and wishing his 2nd innings in cricket be turn out to be a long one.

  • JD09 on September 6, 2008, 11:01 GMT

    The first time true story of the great Sada has come to his fans notice. In childhood his antics make me wear keeper's gloves. A highly talented and intelligent Wicket Keeper but due to share of unfortunate incidence could not become Great. However God has given him another chance to be attached with Cricket. Wishing him all the best, and we will always remember as a wonderful Keeper and great fighter.

  • firestarter on September 6, 2008, 13:09 GMT

    Thanks for this article...it was pretty touching. I knew that Sada was in some kinda trouble...but didn't know the details. I still have memories of the WCC matches. He was then considered as the yound blood of Indian cricket...his aggression and passion for Cricket esp WK gave me goose pimples. He met fire with fire, pushed bowlers to give their best...and top of all the way he celebrated each wicket used give me goosepimples.

    Glad to know Sada is on track again. All the best Sada!!!

    cheers, -Pras

  • Sajeeva on September 6, 2008, 13:48 GMT

    Its wonderful to hear about Sada after a long time.Thanks cricinfo for bringing him back to the lime light. We Sri Lankans allways admired Sada for his bravery in the 1985 World championship. It was very sad to see him loosing his place in the Indian side after the 1985 SriLankan series.I think had he got the support of a reserve wicket keeper in that series, he would have done better. Hope & pray that his second innings in Cricket will be a long and a happy one.

  • plumbinfront on September 6, 2008, 13:59 GMT

    Its foolish to say "Fate denied Sadanand Viswanath that exit the first time around" and dump all blame on everything other than personal responsibility. Is Sriram Veera saying this because he knows the intimate workings of Fate? I know how personal responsibility works and suspect that it, or the lack of it, is what is responsible for Sadas abyss.

    There are many examples of cricketers who have overcome the loss of loved ones and done well in their cricket, Greenidge scoring a (double?) hundred after the loss of his child, Tendulkars hundred vs Kenya after the loss of his father, come to mind. They did'nt take to the bottle, they took to the bat. They made their choice to overcome the circumstance.

    Of course, we should all be happy for Sada that he is finally choosing the path of responsibility and we wish him well. But I would suggest that Sriram Veera stick to what he knows and not give us this clap trap about "Fate".

  • ICF_Lurker on September 6, 2008, 15:13 GMT

    Excellent article. Thanks much to Sriram for doing this piece. As a cricket fan who saw Sadanand Vishwanath in action in 85 I had always wondered what happened to him. I remember reading in Sportsworld, then edited by MAK Pataudi, that he had some personal struggle due to loss of parents and this article confirms it. I can now completely understand what happened to the maverick. Sadanand Vishwanath if you are reading this let me say Indian cricket fans still remember you very very fondly. You have not been forgotten. Best of luck for future.

  • krik8crazy on September 6, 2008, 15:32 GMT

    I am happy to know that Sada hs turned his life around. The last I read about him was that he was living in a hotel room. I remember the WSC in 1985 where he wowed viewers with his acrobatic wicket keeping. I didn't know he was dealing with such huge personal tragedies when he started his international career. Cricketers like him with their cheerful personality make the game popular and interesting. I wish him all the best for his second innings.

  • DennistheMenace on September 6, 2008, 23:33 GMT

    Great news to hear that Sadanand is back. I had the privilege to play along side him during our days with Syndicate Bank back in the early 1980's when he made it into the Indian Team. I vividly remember the Hindu Trophy final played at the Chinnaswamy stadium about a year before the world cup in India. The game was being used to test the cameras and as a practice session for the commentary crew including Bishen Bedi, etc. We scored some 180 runs and State Bank began their chase and were soon one down with Sadanand bringing off a brilliant leg side catch of Raghunath. He then proceeded to stand up to the stumps and effected a leg side stumping that would have been out had there been the third umpire referral back then. I have seen him keeping and batting from up close and envied his talent. Things would have been different had he applied himself. Its good to know that he has got his life back together. All the best Vishy. I now live in Canada but will be following his new career.