According to information obtained from sources within the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), former Bengal batter Prakash Poddar passed away in Hyderabad. Poddar is best known for being one of the two talent spotters who suggested the name of a certain MS Dhoni to the higher-ups at the BCCI. MS Dhoni went on to become one of the most successful players in the history of Indian cricket.
Poddar, who had a career playing cricket for both Bengal and Rajasthan, passed away on December 29 at the age of 82 in Hyderabad, which was also his former place of residence.
Poddar was a great batsman in the 1960s, and he was selected to the Indian Test squad for a home series against England in 1962. He finished his first-class career with 11 hundreds, and his batting average was slightly under 40.
It is now considered part of cricketing history that Poddar and his former teammate Raju Mukherjee played a part in recommending MS Dhoni name to the former head of the BCCI Talent & Research Development Wing (TRDW), Dilip Vengsarkar.
“PC da, as he was affectionately known, and Raju Mukherjee were TRDOs (Talent and Research Development Officers) during that time, and Dhoni was playing for Bihar in a Ranji one-day match in Jamshedpur (this was before Jharkhand acquired BCCI recognition).
Both of them witnessed his major hits, and both of them suggested that Dilip hire him “Makarand Waingankar, a senior sports journalist who played a significant part in the establishment of the TRDO, recalled warmly his time working there.
“PC da was of the opinion that a guy with such exceptional hand-eye co-ordination would be unable to compete well in the East Zone leg, and that the BCCI needed to help him develop his skills. The rest, as they say, is history “said Waingankar.
In the film MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, national selector Kiran More is seen having a conversation with a character named Prakash, who is telling him about a young man who is famous for hitting sixes for fun. Prakash is describing the young man to Kiran More.
Mukherjee, a former captain of Bengal who is now a match referee for the BCCI, has written a blog post in which he pays Poddar a generous compliment.
“As BCCI talent scouts, Lulu-da (Poddar’s nickname) and this writer were the first to recognise the remarkable talents of a man from Jharkhand (formerly Bihar) and alert BCCI about him. Lulu-da went on to become one of the most successful cricketers of all time.
Whenever the late arrival of one MSD was brought up for discussion, Lulu-da never wavered from her stance, which was, “I wonder what the zonal and national selectors were doing all these years.” “Mukherjee expressed these thoughts in his blog.
People like Prakash Chandra Poddar are relegated to the background of the glamorous tale of Indian cricket, but the truth is that there would be no tale without footnotes like him.