This article is part of a series on the International Business Fest at IIT Bombay’s Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management

He was not a global superstar like ‘The God of Cricket’ or ‘The Wall’. Nor was he the greatest captain of the Indian Cricket team. Instead he was one of the hardest workers in the game, one who had to toil hard for years with the not so glamorous part of Indian cricket – fast bowling. Next only to Kapil Dev in India’s list of greatest fast bowlers, Javagal Srinath was the team’s workhorse for 11 long years. For most of the 90s and the early 2000s, he was one of the two common faces in the Indian bowling line-up, the other being Anil Kumble. He never really received the adulation and recognition that he deserved, but he relentlessly soldiered on bowling those clever incutters and baffling batsmen with his inswingers.

From the very beginning of his career, Srinath showed huge potential. In the primarily batting oriented Indian team, he was the one constant in the pace bowling department. Rarely did he ever get to bowl in conditions suited for fast bowling as India always ensured that the pitches were heavily batsman friendly or assisted their spinners. Grossly underrated throughout his career and beyond, Srinath was predominantly an express fast bowler in his earlier years before injuries due to overload of fast bowling started affecting his performance. Despite that he matured into a reliable opening bowler often mentoring young and budding fast bowlers.

Some of the most memorable moments from Srinath’s career would be the 8 wicket haul against Pakistan at Kolkata or his stellar performance in the 2003 World Cup. The team player in him came out when he refused to take a wicket and bowled wide when Kumble had taken 9 wickets out of his famous 10 wicket haul against Pakistan. Srinath made commendable progress with the bat as well. He had a unique and aggressive batting style which has often led him to be promoted as a pinch hitter. One might wonder what the case would have been if he had been able to allot more time and attention to his batting.

After a long career that saw numerous highs and lows, Srinath finally bid adieu to his playing days following the 2003 World Cup. Even at the time of his retirement he was widely considered the best fast bowler in India. Over the years, the love for cricket has not let him stay much far off from the game. He later ventured into cricket commentary and following that he became an official ICC match referee. He is also involved actively with the Karnataka State Cricket Association.

Shailesh J Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay, takes great pride in associating itself with high achievers who have stood out and made a mark in their field of work. The institution places great importance to provide ample platforms for interaction between its students and such stalwarts. Avenues, the annual Business festival organised by SJMSOM would see Shri Javagal Srinath gracing the occasion as a guest speaker at Alankar. Alankar, one of the premiere event of Avenues, is a leadership lecture series organised by the students, where eminent personalities from diverse fields deliver thought provoking lectures and share their secrets of success with young budding managers. It would indeed be a pleasure to listen to Shri Srinath about his experiences in one of the most high profile jobs in India, the member of the Indian Cricket Team.

For more info on Avenues, visit the web page here.

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(The writer is a student of SJMSoM, IIT Bombay).