Calcutta: As a sportsman, Chuni Goswami’s feats are numerous. Though he is better known as one of the finest footballers that India has ever produced, his exploits in the cricket field were not inferior either. As recognition to his achievements, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) honoured Goswami with the Lifetime Achievement Award on Sunday, at the CAB Annual Awards function.
Goswami, obviously, was elated with the honour and made a trip down the memory lane, recollecting several instances of his playing days when he had towered over the bowlers. “I played for the Central and East team against the West Indies in 1967-68… It was a great experience. I played a memorable innings… Gary Sobers had complimented me for that innings,” Goswami recollected.
Goswami played cricket for 11 years and was also the captain of the Bengal Ranji team.
During the period, Goswami made a lot of friends, Bishan Singh Bedi being one of them. Bedi, who was present as the chief guest in the award ceremony, showered praises on Goswami. “I met Chuni after a long time… I always have the highest regard for him… He was a great sportsman. An all-rounder who mastered different sporting disciplines… In fact, I think he is the greatest Indian ‘all-rounder’ of all time,” Bedi said.
Moving to the other awards, Laxmi Ratan Shukla hogged the limelight as one of the best cricketers of the 2011-12 season. He won the award jointly with Ashok Dinda, but with the pacer being busy doing national duty in Sri Lanka, Shukla was the cynosure of the function.
Every player of the Bengal team which won the Vijay Hazare Trophy was awarded Rs 1 lakh.