Hyderabad, the City of Pearls, sparkled a bit more tonight, symbolising the brilliance of a career marked by achievement and passion. At the Indian Cricket Board’s Naman Awards, former Indian cricketer Ravi Shastri—a man whose name conjures up images of strong drives and sharp commentary—was given the esteemed Col. CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award.
Shastri’s career has been a masterclass in cricketing brilliance, from his daring days as a batsman—known for his effortless sixes and unwavering grit—to his pivotal time as head coach, during which he led India to historic victories. In addition to the field, millions of people were enthralled with Shastri’s commentary.
Legendary cricketer Ravi Shastri:
His sharp observations, humorous one-liners, and contagious energy made for an unforgettable spectacle turning cricket matches into operas. By bringing the game closer to the public and demystifying complexities with humour and passion, he became well-known not only among cricket enthusiasts but also among the general public.
The audience erupted in nostalgia as he accepted the award, with every applause resonating with the innumerable memories he has bestowed upon the country. He was questioned briefly, and his responses, which were given with their usual frankness, constituted a master class in and of themselves.
Ravi reminisced about his early years, the excitement of donning the India blue, and his family’s and his mentors’ unwavering support. He incorporated the highs and lows, failures and victories into a story that spoke to every budding cricket player in the room.
Though his remarkable career includes many pivotal moments, Shastri chose a more recent accomplishment when asked to name his all-time favourite. Shastri quickly recognised the importance of his victories in the 1983 World Cup, India’s first on the international scene, and the 1985 World Championship of Cricket, where he was crowned Champion of Champions.
Cricketer gets candid:
He confessed, “I’m having a special evening. Choosing just one would probably be challenging. But I’ll just leave right now. You demonstrated to someone why the 1985 Melbourne final against Pakistan was unique. When India won the World Cup in 1983.”
The Gabba Test of 2021, a more recent battleground, ultimately won his heart, though. This Test match was unlike any other. A crippled Indian team, plagued by injuries and lacking important players, faced the formidable Australians at their impregnable fortress—the Gabba—in a match akin to David vs. Goliath. Under Shastri’s guidance, India managed to achieve a historic victory, ending the Gabba’s 32-year unbeaten streak, despite the overwhelming odds against them.
As he reminisced about the game, Ravi Shastri’s voice became choppy with emotion, his remarks reflecting the incredible tenacity and resolve shown by the youthful Indian squad. The cherry on top, though, was when we crossed the finish line on our final day at the Gabba and Rishabh Pant drove us home. It must be the cherry on top, and for that, I am grateful to each and every one of my players. With great pride, he declared, “That is the most expensive medal you will ever receive.”
So, this was all about the legendary cricketer. Also read, Which Indian actor owns the most sports teams in India?