- Nasima Akter
Hyderabad and Royals Pay Special Tribute Before IPL Game
Cricket fans around the world mourned the loss of former Indian cricketer Salim Durani, who passed away at the age of 88 after a prolonged battle with cancer on Sunday. The players of Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals, who were set to play an Indian Premier League encounter that day, paid tribute to the legendary cricketer before the game.
Durani was a renowned red-ball player and had an impressive record of 1202 runs in 29 Tests, including one century and seven half-centuries.
He also claimed 74 wickets at an average of 35.42, taking five wickets in an innings on five occasions and 10 wickets in a match once. He was also known for his aggressive batting style and big-hitting ability.
Durani played for Saurashtra and Gujarat and was the first Indian cricketer to receive the Arjuna Award. It is the second-highest sporting honor in the country. He played a pivotal role in India's first-ever series victory against England in 1961-62 when he took eight wickets in Calcutta and another ten in Madras.
Following his passing, tributes poured in from across the Indian cricketing fraternity. Former India head coach Ravi Shastri described Durani as "one of the most colorful cricketers of India," while the legendary Sachin Tendulkar expressed his deep sorrow at the news of Durani's death.
Despite scoring only one century, Durani's ability to score sixes on public demand made him a cricket icon.
It was fitting for players to pay tribute to a cricketer who had contributed so much to the sport.
Both teams paid a special tribute to Durani by observing a two-minute silence before the match began. All the cricketers, along with the umpires, also sported black armbands in his honor. It was a touching moment that showed how much he meant to the cricketing fraternity.
In addition to the tribute by the team, several big figures had something to say about Durani. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called him an institution in himself who greatly contributed to India's success in cricket.
Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and BCCI secretary Jay Shah also praised him for inspiring generations of Indian cricketers.
What Happened at the IPL Match
As for the IPL match, it was held at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, and the Sunrisers Hyderabad won the toss and opted to field first.
The home side handed debuts to some new faces, including England's Adil Rashid and Harry Brook, New Zealand's Glenn Phillips, and Mayank Agarwal. Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals gave debuts to former West Indies captain Jason Holder and KM Asif.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, a senior India bowler, was leading Sunrisers Hyderabad only for this game since their regular captain Aiden Markram was with the South African side on national duty.
It was an opportunity for Bhuvneshwar to show his leadership skills, and he did a commendable job in leading the team.
Overall, the match was played with great enthusiasm and energy, despite the sadness that hung in the air due to Durani's passing. He will be missed, but his legacy will continue to inspire cricket fans and players.