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Javagal turns nostalgic

Calcutta: Javagal Srinath didn’t quite feature among the tearaway fast bowlers. But he has the distinction that not many other pacers of his generation can boast of.

At Eden Gardens, on a wicket that usually doesn’t provide much assistance to quicks except during the first hour of a game, the former India pacer has 22 wickets beside his name from just four Test matches.

Back in Calcutta as Match Referee for Tuesday’s IPL VII tie featuring Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings, Srinath still cherishes those good old days when he breathed fire at the Eden.

Australia in March 1998 and Pakistan in February 1999 were at the receiving end of Srinath’s fiery bowling. “I still remember those two matches… Had picked up eight wickets against Pakistan in the second innings of that Test.

“Also, I had quite a few scalps in the Test versus Australia. We had gone on to win that game convincingly as far as I remember,” the 44-year-old said after a routine inspection, at the Eden, on Monday.

In the Test versus Australia, the Mohammed Azharuddin-led Indian side had thrashed the visitors by an innings and 219 runs as India took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Srinath took six wickets in that Test.

Against Pakistan — the inaugural match of the Asian Test Championship — India were on the losing side as Wasim Akram and his troops registered a 46-run victory. Srinath, however, had staggering figures of 13 for 132.

Srinath also remembers the East Bengal-Mohun Bagan P. Sen Trophy match he was part of back in the early 90s.