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November 18, 2012
In an era when not many domestic cricketers are disciplinarians, Amol Muzumdar belongs to the minority. After scoring his 24th Ranji Trophy century, during which he became the tournament's highest run scorer once again, Muzumdar was making the Andhra cricketers shiver in the cold of Nadaun, a remote town in Himachal Pradesh, during a catching drill.
"Ever since I have joined Andhra, our day ends with each player taking 50 catches in the slips. Today was no different," Muzumdar told ESPNcricinfo. "The only difference was that the boys were saying 'aaj bahut thand hai, rehne do [let it be for the day since it's too cold]', but they had to follow the routine."
By the time Muzumdar returned to his room after practice, there was a sizeable number of text messages and missed calls on his phone. Most of them were to congratulate him for reclaiming the record former team-mate Wasim Jaffer had taken from him last year. The most special of those calls was from Devinaa, his six-year-old daughter.
"During the two days I spent at home for Diwali, I had promised her that I would get the milestone this week, so this one is for her," Muzumdar, who turned 38 last week, said. "I am not an emotional person but today I really want to thank all my family members - my father [Anil], mother [Meena] and my wife [Ruhee] who had stood beside me all these years."
Muzumdar had crossed Amarjeet Kaypee's record of 7623 runs while playing his first game for Assam in 2009-10, before Jaffer surpassed Muzumdar's tally of 8237 against Punjab last December. Though Muzumdar has beaten Jaffer's tally of 8320 runs, there is likely to be a seesaw battle between two of the most prolific domestic run-getters for the rest of the season. Jaffer is presently on Haj and will join Mumbai for the second half of the league stage.
"I am aware of the possibility," Muzumdar said. "I haven't discussed it with Wasim though. The last time I spoke with Wasim was when I congratulated him after he became the highest run-getter."
Muzumdar, who became the most capped Ranji player during Andhra's season opener, is delighted to hold the record of being the highest run-getter. "When it happened the last time, I wasn't after it. This time around, I knew how far I was behind," he said. "That's the only difference. It feels nice to score that many runs and be among the list of all those guys - Wasim, Hrishi [Hrishikesh Kanitkar], Kaypee and others. They have scored that many runs, it's incredible to have the tenacity to go on and on for years.
"Now the Ranji Trophy offers at least eight games per season, but till not so long ago, for most of the teams, Ranji meant a maximum of eight games a season, so their achievements are phenomenal."
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