When Javagal Srinath first caught the eye of the Indian cricket fan, he had a tough act to follow. He was expected to fit into the shoes of the hugely popular Kapil Dev. Javagal Srinath did that and more.
By retiring from international cricket, he had bagged 236 Test wickets and 315 one-day international wickets. He was hailed for encouraging an entirely new generation of Indian fast bowlers.
His First Steps in the Cricketing World
Javagal Srinath was born and educated in Mysore. Though a talented cricketer, his family placed great importance on education, and Javagal Srinath graduated with a degree in engineering from SJCE. However, he remained faithful to his first love – cricket – and made his first-class debut in 1989-90.
His entry into the cricketing world could not have been more spectacular. Playing his first match against arch-rivals Hyderabad, Javagal Srinath picked up a hat-trick for Bangalore in the very first innings of the game. Javagal Srinath’s career was off to a start, and it ended 13 years later in 2003.
His Career Achievements
Being India’s pace spearhead is no joke. There is often no other pace bowler to support you, even as a major part of your career is spent bowling in the heartless dustbowls of India, where spin rules the roost. However, Javagal Srinath’s career stats are impeccable.
He debuted in 1991-92 against Australia and immediately hit the headlines with an impressive haul of wickets. But he did take a backseat in the team for several years, as he was forced to watch from the sideline whenever India played at home.
This is because with the Indian pitches being conducive to spin, only two pace bowlers were taken for home matches, and Javagal Srinath was the pace bowler who was left warming the benches. Only in 1994, three years after his debut, he got to play in a home series. With increased playing opportunities, he soon became a match-winner for the country.
The bowler ended his career with several achievements to his credit. He was the fastest bowler to get 100 ODI wickets, the most successful World Cup bowler for the country and India’s only pacer to get more than 300 wickets in one-day internationals. Javagal Srinath was also a valuable striker of the bat with a highest of 76 runs in Test matches and 53 runs in ODIs.
The bowler was given the Arjuna Award in 1996.
His Work Post Retirement
After his retirement from international cricket, Javagal Srinath is still a familiar face to cricket viewers across the world. He has become a reputed commentator and is also an ICC match referee. In 2010, he and his former teammate, Anil Kumble, ushered in the winds of change to Indian cricket administration by fighting the Karnataka State Cricket Association elections.
They won by huge margins, and today, Javagal Srinath as the secretary of the Association, charts the destinies of upcoming young cricketers in Karnataka.