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November 6, 2009
In the remote North-East Frontier Railway Stadium in Guwahati, Amol Muzumdar became the highest run-getter in the Ranji Trophy, going past another domestic giant Amarjit Kaypee's mark of 7623 runs.
At the start of the 2009-10 season, Muzumdar needed 31 runs to break the record, but once Mumbai, his home side, didn't pick him for the preparatory tournaments, he moved to Assam. Muzumdar made 22 in the first innings against Rajasthan, and crossed the record in the second effort of 25, a knock that couldn't help Assam avoid a 95-run defeat.
In his previous season for Mumbai, Muzumdar scored 359 runs in nine matches at an average of 27.61. In the semi-final last year, he was sent in to open the innings after Mumbai had ensured they would go through to the finals. Presumably given the opportunity to get the record, he managed 2 off 13 and 9 off 32. In what was a sign of things to come, he was not played in the final, which Mumbai won.
The recent happenings, though, should not take away from a career, which could have easily gone down the bitter road. Muzumdar was one of the many middle-order batsmen born in the wrong era, that of Mohammad Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly. He began his first-class career with an unbeaten 260 against Haryana in the 1994-95 Ranji pre-quarterfinal, and kept putting up the runs for Mumbai season after season. He went on to win seven Ranji titles with Mumbai, the one in 2006-07 as captain, after the side came from nowhere and stunned everybody in the last few matches.
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