Karnataka Celebrates Golden Jubilee of Historic Ranji Trophy Triumph

Karnataka Celebrates Golden Jubilee of Historic Ranji Trophy Triumph

Karnataka's historic Ranji Trophy triumph in 1973-74, which broke Bombay's 15-year dominance, was celebrated with a grand felicitation ceremony at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. The event honored the victorious team members, who shared their memories and anecdotes from that unforgettable season.

Led by the legendary off-spin wizard EAS Prasanna, Karnataka defeated a formidable Rajasthan side captained by Hanumant Singh by 185 runs in Jaipur on March 27, 1974. The victory marked the first of eight Ranji Trophy titles for the state.

The nostalgia-filled event was graced by Prasanna, G.R. Viswanath, B.S. Chandrasekhar, Brijesh Patel, Syed Kirmani, A.V. Jayaprakash, B. Sudhakar Rao, Sanjay Desai, S. Vijayprakash, B. Siddaramu, R. Arunkumar, and B. Raghunath. Tributes were also paid to the three departed souls: V.S. Vijay Kumar, B. Vijayakrishna, and K. Lakshman.

"The win was very satisfying," recalled Prasanna. "The likes of Kirmani, Jayaprakash, and Vijayakrishna lifted their games and scored on a wicket that was conducive to our kind of bowling. The Karnataka team may not have looked very good on paper, but we were very effective on the pitch."

However, the victory was not without its share of drama. On the rest day between the third and fourth days, the team members had partaken in Holi festivities and ingested Bhang, unknowingly.

"It took us two days to come down to earth [from the high]," said Viswanath, as the audience guffawed. "Everybody in the team was just laughing. But I had become very serious. The England tour was coming up, and I was a bit worried about that. I didn't get runs in the final."

"But the important thing was that we won," Viswanath added. "The train journey back to Bangalore, which was supposed to be for two days, took nearly 3.5 days as the train stopped everywhere. But not a single passenger complained that the train was late."

One of the highlights of the triumphant campaign was Karnataka's victory over Bombay in the semifinal, and Prasanna's dismissal of Sunil Gavaskar.

"It is one of the greatest deliveries I have ever seen," said Viswanath. "I was standing at first slip. It wasn't a doosra, teesra, or leg-cutter. Just a proper off-spinner that left the batter slightly. Sunil had covered everything, but may have just left a millimetre open. And Pras got him."

The golden jubilee celebration was a fitting tribute to the Karnataka team that broke Bombay's stranglehold on the Ranji Trophy and etched their names in the annals of Indian cricket history.

Tags: #cricket, #nationalchampionship, #Karnataka, #sport, #sportsevent

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