Dilip Vengsarkar Stand is a tribute to those 1991 tears: Sachin Tendulkar

Former India and Mumbai captain Dilip Vengsarkar turned back the clock to 1974-75 on Friday when the Mumbai Cricket Association honoured him by naming a section of the North Stand at Wankhede Stadium after him.

“I played my first match here [at Wankhede] in 1974, which was a Vizzy Trophy game between West Zone and Central Zone. At that time, construction of the North Stand had just started. I scored 120 runs in that match. After one year, India were playing their first Test match at the same ground versus West Indies and I watched that match with my coach VS Patil from the same North Stand,” Vengsarkar said.

Though India lost the Mumbai Test by a huge margin of 201 runs, those two days Vengsarkar spent at the ground watching Clive Lloyd’s 242 motivated him to have the same number of runs for his Podar College a couple of days later.

Inspiring tale

“I watched how West Indies captain Lloyd played and scored 242 in that Test. Our coach VS Patil told me that we have an inter-college semi-final match after two days at Wankhede against Sydenham College and he wanted me to score 242 runs. And I did,” Vengsarkar said. Vengsarkar, 65, scored 6,868 runs in 116 Tests, while in 129 ODIs he had 3,508 runs.

Total commitment

Batting great Sachin Tendulkar recalled his most memorable moment at the Wankhede Stadium—when Mumbai played Ranji Trophy final against Haryana in 1991. “We lost the final by just two runs on the last day. Abey Kuruvilla got run out. Vengsarkar scored an unbeaten century [139]. I will never forget Vengsarkar’s reaction after the match while walking towards the dressing room. I saw tears in his eyes. In the dressing room, he sat and covered his head with a towel for some time. I realised then what is commitment and passion, what is khadoosness of Mumbai cricket. He had already played more than 100 Tests, he was such a big cricketer, still was playing for Mumbai and had tears in his eyes after Mumbai’s loss. I just felt that the stand [Dilip Vengsarkar Stand] which we are seeing now after his name, is a tribute to those tears,” Tendulkar remarked. The function was also graced by former India batting stylist and captain Gundappa Viswanath.

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