Whether you’re an avid cricket fan or not, there will be players that you have undoubtedly heard of – after all, some sportspeople make a name for themselves outside of their beloved sport. Without a doubt, Lala Amarnath is one of those players.
Why Lala Amarnath is So Important?
Lala Amarnath is one of the most important cricket players of all time. He is considered one of the gods of the cricketing world and has a huge fan base, even after his death decades ago. So, what makes Amarnath such an important player, even now? Lala Amaranth is one of India’s most famous players thanks to an entire host of first under his command as captain, as well as scoring a first as a player.
Playing for the Indian National Cricket Team
Lala Amarnath is most well known for being the first batsman ever to score a century for the Indian national cricket team in test cricket. He scored 118 runs in 185 minutes and struck 21 boundaries in his innings. The Indian team still lost by 9 wickets but it didn’t matter because Amarnath had just set a record in Indian cricket. As well as scoring the first test century, he was also the first Indian player to score a Test century on debut. Having said that, he was never able to score another hundred throughout his career retiring with one century and four fifties.
Of course, there are plenty of cricket statistics that are worth paying attention to if you’re interested in the best players in the game – the biggest six in cricket history for example.
His Time as Captain
Amarnath was a fierce captain – he was known for speaking his mind but was also an excellent team player. He became Independent India’s first test captain to lead the team on a tour of Australia in the late 1940s. Following this incredible achievement Amarnath went on to captain the Indian national team for fifteen matches.
As a player, Amarnath was outstanding. He was the only bowler to ever dismiss a Donald Bradman hit wicket. Despite Bradman getting out 70 times over the course of his career, he was only able to hit his stumps once.
His Big Achievement
One of Amarnath’s biggest achievements was when he captained the team for India’s first Test series win against Pakistan in 1952. Despite being praised as an all-round excellent player, he was dropped from the team on allegations of insubordination and insolent behaviour. The outcry across the nation was so intense that the selectors were not only forced to bring him back into the team but eventually appointed him as captain, which is when he led his team on a tour of Australia.
There is no doubt that Lala Amarnath is one of India’s (and potentially the world’s) most formidable players and one of the best captains that the national team has seen. His actions inspired generations of Indians to work hard and try to follow in his footsteps.
Even now, twenty years after Amarnath’s death he is still considered one of the most important Indian cricket figures as he continues to inspire younger people to take up the sport.
In 1991, less than a decade before his death, the government of India honoured him with the Padma Bhushan award. The Padma Bhushan is one of the highest honours that the Indian government can give, and is offered for “distinguished service of a high order”. Being given such an hour, especially several decades after retiring, is a true testament to the impact that Lala Amarnath has on Indian cricket.