Cricket legend Lall Singh leads Malaysia’s Hall of Fame list

First Malayan to play for Malaya in a team that included all European and Australian players. First Sikh to play Test cricket for India in the country’s inaugural Test at Lord’s in 1932

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Malaysia | 11 Oct 2016 | Asia Samachar |
Cricket legend Lall Singh
Cricket legend Lall Singh

By Ravi Chaturvedi

Cricket found firm footing first in Malaysia with the founding of the Malayan Cricket Association in 1948 and was firmly entrenched when the enlarged Malaysian Cricket Association was established in 1963.

Earlier this year, the MCA decided to induct 18 national cricketers of the past in its recently instituted Cricket Hall of Fame in a glittering function organised by the MCA at the Bukit Jalil Golf & Country Resort in Kuala Lumpur.

Heading the Hall of Fame list was former India Test cricketer Lall Singh who represented India in its inaugural Test at Lord’s in 1932.

Others in this elite group were Lt Cdr. (retd) Karunakarer “Karu” Selvaratnam, Dr. Alex Delikan, Hector Durairatnam, Michael Francis Shepherdson, K.C.. Kailasapathy, Gurucharan Singh, Banerji Nair, Christopher Eric Shepherdson, Rajalingam Suppiah, Dr. Jagdev Singh, Christie Arputham, Zainuddin Meah, Zainon Mat, Dato’ Dr. Amarjit Singh, Haris Abu Baker, Maruthamuthu Siameya and Saker Krishnan.

SEE ALSO: South cricket team won Lall Singh Trophy, MSSSC plans to introduce game in annual games

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There are three prominent inductee (Lall Singh, Dr. Alex Delikan, Karu Selvaratnam & Hector Durairatnam) in the Malaysian Hall of Fame about whom interesting fact have been dug out.

Lall Singh was the first Malayan to play for Malaya in a team that included all European and Australian players. He was the first Sikh to play Test cricket for India in the country’s inaugural Test at Lord’s in 1932. He caught the eyes of the English critics with his athleticism and hard-hitting. He was instrumental in Frank Wooley’s run out which Edward Docker in his book History of Indian Cricket eulogised him thus, “Woolley turned a ball past square leg umpire, looking for two in it. But not with Lall Singh at mid-on.

“The Sikh was an extraordinary mover, who glided over the ground like a snake, and his pick up and return to keeper Navle (Janardan) just beat Woolley home. His heroics with bat were equally praiseworthy. A last-ditch defiant stand of 74 runs in 40 minutes between Amar Singh (51) and Lal Singh (29) added a lustre to the setting sun of India’s innings.”

On his return to India, he played for Southern Punjab in the Ranji Trophy. On his homecoming, he recorded a career best score of 138 and claimed of 7/52 in a Straits Settlements match. There were reports that he married a singer from the Taj Mahal Hotel and started a nightclub in Paris The venture failed and he returned home a broken man.

The BCCI invited him for the Golden Jubilee Test at Bombay in 1980. It turned out that he was the oldest Indian Test player to attend the celebrations. Accompanied by his friends he went to England to watch the 1983 World Cup. After India’s historic victory at Lord’s, his friends lost sight of him. Frantic search by worried friends found Singh sipping champagne with the triumphant India team in the dressing room.

Original article, entitled ‘Former India test player Lall leads Hall of Fame list’ appeared at Asian Age, 24  Sept 2016. See here

 

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