Sport is Life. Enjoy it!
I was initiated into the exciting world of sport when I was in class VI at St. Mary’s High School in Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, which is about 50 k.m. from my native village. In two years, the hostel life gave me an opportunity to enjoy and play many sporting disciplines, including hockey. As a class VII student, I was asked to train with Class X and XI boys for the school hockey team.
My college life was in Chennai. And the city was full of cricket. I quickly graduated from tennis ball player to TNCA league cricketer after having taken up the sport seriously during pre-University days. I began as a swing bowler and settled down as a wicketkeeper and middle-order-batsman in my local club side. I moved from fifth division to third division.
After graduating in history from Pachaiappa’s College in Chennai, I moved to Berhampur in Southern Orissa and decided to study law. Berhampur lacked not only cricket culture but also infrastructure. Basketball was the most popular sport. That gave me an opportunity to watch and later play the game. Cricket remained my first choice and joined a local club and soon I was hailed as one of the best players of the district.
I played for the Berhampur University in the East Zone Inter-Varsity cricket for four years, twice as its captain. Played for the Ganjam district in the Kalahandi Cup and my wicketkeeping prowess earned me a Ranji Trophy nets call twice in 1978 and 1979.
After graduating from the law college, I studied journalism and mass communication for one year before landing a job with the Indian Express in Calcutta. In Calcutta, I joined Albert Sporting Club, a second division club, on the prompting of late Suhrid Mitra. Switched to Kidderpore Sporting, a middle-level first division side, two seasons later and signed for ABP Recreation Club, another first division team, in 1985-86 season. By then I was an employee of The Telegraph. I quit CAB league cricket in 1987.
I represented Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club and later East Zone in the all-India J.K. Bose Memorial cricket tournament for sports journalists since 1981. I put a stop to it after 2014 JK Bose in Hyderabad.
I worked for Indian Express from September 1980 to January 1984; The Telegraph, Calcutta from February 1985 to February 1995; The Hindu from March 1995 to September 2015. Thirty five years of experience and counting.
During my professional career I covered many International and National competition. Multi-discipline coverage always thrilled me and I was fortunate to cover the SAF Games at Islamabad in 1989, at Kathmandu in 1999 and at Dhaka in 2010; Asian Games at Delhi in 1982 and Commonwealth Games at Delhi in 2010.
I am associated with the Sports Journalists’ Federation of India (SJFI) since 1991 as an EC member, Treasurer, Secretary (1994-96), Vice-President and President (2008-12).
I am also associated with Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club (CSJC) since 1982 till date and held many important posts, including the President’s chair (2008 to 2015) till April this year.