Former Hyderabad captain MV Sridhar, who recently resigned as BCCI's general manager of cricket operations, died on Monday morning. Sridhar, who was 51-years old, suffered a heart attack at his home, and was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital. He is survived by his wife, a daughter and a son.
A prolific right-hand batsman, Sridhar had 21 first-class centuries in a career that stretched between 1988-89 and 1999-2000. Sridhar was one of three Hyderabad batsmen to record a first-class triple-century, VVS Laxman and Abdul Azeem being the others. His knock of 366 against Andhra in 1994 is the third-highest individual score in the Ranji Trophy, behind Bhausaheb Nimbalkar's 443 not out and Sanjay Manjrekar's 377. During that innings, he set a record that still stands today: when he was at the wicket, Hyderabad scored 850 runs (he came in at 30 for 1 and was dismissed at 880 for 5), the most runs scored by a team during one batsman's stay at the crease.
Sridhar was also a qualified doctor. At the Hyderabad Cricket Association, Sridhar served in many roles before becoming the secretary.
D Narsing Rao, an HCA member and a close friend, said Sridhar had spoken to him over the phone this morning saying he had been feeling a bit "uneasy" over the past week. "At 12.30pm he [Sridhar] was uncomfortable so he called his cousin to come home. But then he felt better and told his cousin there was no need and had lunch. But an hour later he suffered a severe heart attack." Sridhar had been preparing for his daughter's birthday on November 2. She had been by his side at the time of the incident.
Deeply Shocked to hear about the passing away of Dr MV Sridhar , an elder brother to me who taught me the art of batting long 1/2 pic.twitter.com/s9MwJgaqft— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) October 30, 2017
In 2013, Sridhar joined the BCCI as general manager during the N Srinivasan administration. Initially, his brief was mostly restricted to domestic cricket, but he began performing multiple roles over the last two years - dealing with players, selectors, BCCI management; playing a prominent role in the board's various committees, attending ICC meetings, helping draw up international and domestic schedules. He stepped down in September this year.
One of Sridhar's strengths was communication, and he utilised that well when interacting with players, who acknowledged that quality and respected him. In 2008, Sridhar was the assistant manager on the controversy-riddled tour of Australia when match referee Mike Procter found Harbhajan Singh guilty of making a racist comment to Andrew Symonds and banned the Indian offspinner for three Tests under the ICC Code of Conduct.
The Indian team management, led at the time by captain Anil Kumble and supported by BCCI (headed by Sharad Pawar), backed Harbhajan to the hilt and even threatened to pull out if the appeal went against him. Subsequently, Justice John Hansen, the appeal commissioner, dropped the racism charge and slapped Harbhajan with a 50% match-fee penalty. Sridhar was instrumental in the discussions and was the bridge between the players and the two boards.
Harbhajan, who had met Sridhar for the first time on the Australia tour, said he was a "warm" person and a thorough professional. "Doc was a very warm-hearted person. I have huge respect for him - I was really impressed by his work ethic, and based upon my conversations with him, he was a thorough professional," Harbhajan said.
With the intense media attention around the incident in both Australia and India, Sridhar understood that any word on the matter uttered publicly or even informally could affect the final ruling. His primary job was to safeguard the interests of Harbhajan and the Indian team. "(In 2008, Australia) He was the one handling all the conversations happening between the BCCI and the team management," Harbhajan said.
The offspinner recounted that on the car journey to Justice Hansen's hearing in Adelaide, Sridhar made sure the player was in the best frame of mind. "I remember on the way to the hearing in the car he was making sure I was calm. He was guiding me properly. His communication was much, much better than many others (team managers). Communication is very important not just with the players but also with the media. And he took responsibility for doing things and get things done for the players. I have lost a friend."
Sridhar will be cremated on Tuesday in Hyderabad.