Cricket Confluence ”“ a rare exhibition


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By Kersi Meher-Homji

If you are a cricket lover living in Sydney, you should be at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). And soon! Now! The eye-catching and rare cricket exhibition ends on Thursday the 27th  October.

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As a part of Confluence- Festival of India in Australia, Cricket Connect Exhibition was officially inaugurated at Arthur Morris Room, SCG on Thursday.

Among the VIPs present were the Consul General of India B. Vanlalvawna, former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, representatives from the Bradman Museum, Bowral, former Test cricketers (Australian fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz and England’s spinner Monty Panesar), Neville Roach, Mala Mehta, Vinod Bahade, Vijay Kumar and Saba Abdi among other dignitaries.

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The Exhibition is open from now to 27 October between 10 am to 4 pm at Arthur Morris Room at Sydney Cricket Ground. The entry is free.   The entrance is from Gate E, SCG.

All the speakers including Barry O’Farrell and Michael Kasprowicz reminisced about their time in India where cricket is more than a sport but a religion. Cricket remains an enviable bond that Australia and India share.

Mr. O’Farrell narrated anecdotes concerning Australian greats Sir Donald Bradman and Arthur Morris. A decade ago when Morris was asked whether he scored any runs when the legendary Bradman was out for a duck in his final Test innings in London in 1948, he modestly replied “I scored 196, but very few remember that. Everyone remembers Bradman’s zero!”

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Also remembered with nostalgia was Indian cricket team’s pioneering visit to Australia in 1947-48 under the captaincy of Lala Amarnath. It was in the match against NSW at the SCG that Bradman scored his 100th  first-class century.

The highlight of this Cricket Confluence is the Cricket Connects exhibition. It draws on a range of archival sources and photographs curated to showcase the bilateral cricketing relationship between India and Australia. It goes back to the late 19th  century.

There are posters galore which depict Australia’s first unofficial tour of India in 1935-36 and in 1945, India’s first official tour to Australia in 1947-48 and all subsequent tours; Australia in India and India in Australia covering over 70 years.

Of course Don Bradman and Sachin Tendulkar dominate the limelight but other legends like Vijay Hazare, Vinoo Mankad, Keith Miller, Ray Lindwall, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, the Waugh twins, the spin trio of Bedi-Prasanna-Chandra, Mark Taylor, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting, Glenn McGrath, Virat Kohli and many others also get exposure.

Not forgotten are the Parsi cricketers who first toured England in 1886, forty six years before India played her first ever Test, also in England.

It is a never to be missed exhibition. But hurry up as it ends on Thursday the 27thOctober.

(Pics courtesy Mrs. Mala Mehta)


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