Chetan Chauhan: Guts and grit and that elusive hundred

New Delhi, August 16

Imperfection has its personal appeal as Chetan Chauhan would say about that elusive Test hundred which he so hard-earned however had no regrets lacking.

Chetendra Pratap Singh Chauhan, who breathed his final at 73 on Sunday after battling COVID-19, was a really safe man and doubtless somebody whose largest energy was figuring out about limitations, one thing that he believed helped him as an administrator and politician later in life.

When requested how he felt getting out 9 instances between 80 and 97, he would snigger playfully with a cup of tea in his palms watching one other one in every of Delhi’s Ranji Trophy video games on the Feroz Shah Kotla.

“It was destiny probably but I have seen people being more disappointed about that hundred than me. I have no regrets. I have played 40 Tests for India and was Sunil Gavaskar’s opening partner,” he would say proudly.

For a era that didn’t watch Chauhan, he was one of many first Indian worldwide cricketers to put on a helmet which he believed helped his sport.

A robust back-foot participant, who may journey the bounce, Chauhan’s most interesting part was between 1977 to 1981 when he was a daily with Gavaskar on the high of the order.

Yet essentially the most endearing reminiscence for all YouTubers will likely be how Gavaskar referred to as him to depart the bottom in Melbourne after being sad with Dennis Lillee’s boorish behaviour throughout India’s well-known victory.

Was Gavaskar out or not out sir? Journalists would usually ask him and he would begin laughing.

But throughout quite a few interactions with him, what stood out was his reverence for his opening companion and his greatness.

“Sunny bahot bada batsman thaa. Tum bacchon ko koi idea nahi hain. Humse pucho. 2000 run karne mein kitne Ghode kholne pade aur uske 10 hazar run the (Sunny was a big player. Imagine how difficult it was for us to score even 2000 and he scored 10,000),” mentioned the person, who held his personal towards Bob Willis, Mike Hendricks and Ian Botham on the Oval in 1979, was unbelievable towards Lillee, Len Pascoe and Rodney Hogg on bouncy Australian tracks.

He by no means believed in beating across the bush when he spoke about Indian cricket or for that matter Delhi cricket. The journalists, who lined Delhi cricket, beloved him.

Not as a result of he was out there for a touch upon any cricketing challenge however the superb tales he would inform.

“Bahot bekaar players bhi 70s aur 80s mein khel gayein hain India ke liye,” he as soon as mentioned standing at Roshanara floor.

He gave an inventory after which mentioned I hope nobody is recording something. “Tum sab apne bache ho,” he would say smilingly.

Chauhan sir, as he was referred to as, could possibly be extremely humorous with out even making an attempt.

Sample this. One journalist as soon as requested him, “Sir, who is the worst first-class cricketer to have played Ranji Trophy in the last 50 years?”       

There was a large grin after which got here the clincher. “Bataoonga par kahin pe quote toh nahi karogey na?” Everyone promised and he spelt out a reputation, a really well-known administrator in later years.

But Chauhan wasn’t simply enjoyable. He was a critical man who dealt with cricket in essentially the most tough and arguably essentially the most corrupt state physique below the aegis of BCCI—Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA).

And he had a bunch of superstars to deal with. Once Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag had been accomplished with their India days, it wasn’t a straightforward job to deal with the 2 stars however Chauhan managed that with élan.

There could be instances when his contemporaries from Indian and Delhi cricket would rip him to shreds on DDCA issues however hardly would he lose his cool.

Politics and time spent in Parliament as an MP made him affected person and at one stage thick-skinned which is critical for administration.

He had challenge based mostly public distinction of opinion with Gambhir on Navdeep Saini’s choice within the Delhi staff and each had been right.  Chauhan glided by the e book, Gambhir by feelings.

Then as soon as he was made chairman of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, a political appointment that drew criticism and in one of many style pages, he was ridiculed utilizing an image of him in a cowboy hat and captioned “Shikari Shambhoo”.

The subsequent day he wasn’t offended however tried to clarify that his submit isn’t about figuring out style however clearing cheques and placing administration so as.

“Kya bolun, they don’t even understand,” he mentioned.

The lasting image of Chauhan would him clad in a observe go well with at 8.30 am on any chilly December morning, strolling right down to the pitch, speaking to groundsmen, strolling a number of extra laps, going the health club, spending an hour, earlier than becoming formals to look at the match.

Kotla will miss Chetan Chauhan. — PTI

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