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cricketer Lala Amarnath
Lala Amarnath Profile
Full Name: Nanik Amarnath Bharadwaj
Born: September 11, 1911, Kapurthala, Punjab
Died: August 5, 2000, New Delhi
Major teams: India, Gujarat, Hindus, Maharajah of Patiala's XI, Railways, Uttar Pradesh
Batting style: Right-hand bat
Bowling style: Right-arm medium
- First Indian cricketer to score a Test century (In his debut Test match itself)
- Independent India's first Test captain
- Captained India to its first Test series win against Pakistan in 1952
Nanik Amarnath Bharadwaj, generally known as Lala Amarnath was a Test Cricket player of India. He was the first Indian Cricket player to score a Century in a Test match, and also the first Captain of the Indian Test Cricket team after the nation got its independence.
Amarnath was born on 11th of September 1911 at Kapurthala (Punjab), and moved along with his family later to Lahore (now in Pakistan). He didn’t have a very affluent background from his family, and created stirs when he scored 109 runs while playing for Southern Punjab against MCC in the year 1933-34. As a matter of fact, the Cricket magazine Wisden quoted his performance in this match as “A Brilliant Display”.
Debut in Test Cricket
He made his debut in Test Cricket with a Test Series that was played against England at Gymkhana Ground, Bombay (now Mumbai) in December 1933. Eventually, it was the first Test match that the Indian Test team was playing at a home-ground. Amarnath scored a staggering 156 runs making him the first Indian Cricket player to score a century in a Test match. He reached the score pretty fast, finishing 83 runs in just 78 minutes, and reached the century within a span of 117 minutes.
The Controversy at the Indian Tour of 1936
Amarnath was a part of the Indian squad that went upon the Indian tour in the year 1936. Maharaj Kumar of Vizianagaram (also known as Vizzy) was the sponsor and Captain of the team. At the tour Amarnath supposedly had some problems with the team management and was sent back home in the middle on charges of indisciplinary behavior.
The Dark Phase
After his 3rd Test match against England played at Chennai in February 1934, Amarnath had to sit for a period of 12 years before he could play his 4th Test match. He was one of the few Cricket players who raised a voice against the dominance of Royal figures and their supporters prevailing in the Cricket scenario of India those days, and consequently had to pay the price by suffering the damage to his career.
First Captain of Independent India’s Test Cricket team
In November 1947, he was made the Captain of the Indian Test Cricket team which visited Australia on a Test Series, hence, making him the first Captain of the Test Cricket team of Independent India. Australia won 4 out of 5 Test matches played in the Series, while the 5th one was a draw.
Throughout his Test Cricket career, Lala Amarnath played 24 Test matches and managed to score a total of 878 runs in them including 1 century and 4 half-centuries with a Batting Average of 24.38 runs and a highest score of 118 runs. In these 24 matches, he grabbed 45 wickets giving away 1481 runs, with a Bowling Average of 32.91 runs. He also played 186 First class Cricket matches throughout his Cricket career in which he scored 10426 runs with a Batting Average of 41.37 runs, and a highest score of 262 runs. He took 463 wickets in the First class Cricket matches and gave away 10644 runs, with a Bowling Average of 22.98 runs.
He played his last Test match against Pakistan at Kolkata in December 1952, in which he scored 11 runs and took 1 wicket giving away 32 runs.