Sanjay Manjrekar – Grim Accumalator





    Major Dil breaker

    How many Mumbaikars do you see in the current National cricket squad? What happened to them then you ask? Well, this is exactly why I chose to read Sanjay Manjrekar’s autobiography.

    Sanjay who you ask? Rewind to the good ol’ days of Test Match cricket when all the top order batsmen in the Bharat XI comprised of Bombay based Maharashtrians. Could have been more had they managed to produce one decent Test class bowler too. This trend started ever since the evolution of cricket in India since the ancient days of Merchant & Mankad. Rather dramatically, their numbers began to decline somewhere in the 80s with the exit of Vengsarkar, Sandeep Patil, Gavaskar & Shastri. Manjrekar, Kambli & Tendulkar tried to keep the flag flying but only Sachin survived.

    Such was Papa Manjrekar's repute as sharp wit & tongue
    that once Chetan Chauhan approached him for advice.
    Manjrekar responded, "Son there is nothing wrong with your technique".
    "Though there could be something wrong with the selectorial process
    as you still ended up playing Test cricket"

    So what happened to this pedigreed breed? Was greed their only need indeed? Sanjay explains this trend to lack of physical fitness but then does a quick recovery by writing reams and reams eulogising Mumbai cricket and how none of us could have possibly have survived without their kind services. Jai Maharashtra! So where is Mumbai now in the cricket map of India? Unhe Zameen khaa gayi yah aasmaan nigal gaya?

    Sanjay candidly explains he became a cricketer just because he was expected to be one. His dad was the world-famous Vijay Manjrekar who could crack the bat as well as his razor sharp tongue all around the park. He was showered with affection by his fellow cricketers despite his foul temper. Goes without saying son Sanjay was also well taken care of. Gavaskar personally handed him over a Gray Nicholls bat he bought just for him from England. Viv Richards also waited patiently for him to show up to congratulate him on his ’89 Barbados test ton. Volatile tempered Papa Manjrekar’s family had to bear a whole lot of brunt of this “volcano” of talent so to speak. His son Sanjay grew up to be a complexed kid with an pronounced in-built defence mechanism that he suspects showed in his batting technique.

    Papa Manjrekar always displayed guts whether on field or in the streets
    Yuppers, I can tell you first-hand it does take guts to be in the same frame as a Dore
    (Giri Dore receives best bowler award in 1975 for a Siemens game)

    Apparently Sanjay could occupy the crease for hours without keeping the scoreboard ticking and this is the only talent he honed in the final analysis.

    Manjrekar’s short-livety as a batter can also be attributed to his devotion to himself as opposed to the interests of the team. Does it make any sense he introspected a lot about his mistakes and yet did not turn out to be a record shattering batsman? Apparently Mumbaikars also do not get along all that well with mates from North Zone. Sanjay blames it on the watching crowds too who would rather watch India lose than miss out on a Mumbaikar’s ton.

    One of Sanjay’s beefs is that team management in his time expected a lot from their boys who were not really in the mood for winning any game overseas.

    His book though was a li’l bit more interesting to read than watching one of his boring innings. He begins with a dramatic flourish stating to the effect that today he has nothing to do with cricket which we know is a fallacy as he is making a living as a cricket commentator. He does find his way around with words and that would explain his tremendous success he now enjoys as a TV commentator.

    My initial memories of Sanjay was when in he got that fabulous double hundred against the then formidable Pakistan side in 1989. Before that he got a hundred against the Windies too in Barbados though I don’t think it was really a tour worth remembering. The Indians got thrashed 0-2 in the Tests and got “black-washed” in the ODIs as a side-dish. After the tour they even had the gall to play “masala matches” in the US in return for a handsome remuneration. Bus ek sharm hi to nahi aati in logon ko. The Cricket Board ordered them to not play those matches and yet they did. What commenced later was a Players vs Board match which was fought to the last man but no one really won the game. If only the then players showed such tenaciousness in the playing ground at that time. All this is of course conveniently omitted from the book.

    Another memory is how he would consistently got himself run out in the 1992 World Cup games effectively putting India out of contention. His version is that his lack of fitness was the root cause.

    .... Sanjay Manjrekar runs himself out yet again
    in crucial '92 World Cup encounter vs Aussies
    effectively snuffing India out of contention ....

    A final recollection of mine was when just after his premature retirement he wrote how Indians must develop an aggressive temperament like the Pakis before they can even think of winning games overseas. Not sure how effective this ploy was as the Indians still are yet to win a Test series in Australia and by and large struggle with both bat and ball in foreign pitches.

    What is rather odd and noteworthy about this book is that Sanjay is all gaga over those who were accused of match fixing – Manoj Prabhakar, Azharuddin & Ajay Jadeja. Conversely he is rather critical of Kapil Dev who was cleared of all charges. There are suggestions Kapil would fake injuries when the Windies were in town. He does not name Kapil but it has got to be a senior player who commands and demands respect. Apparently Kapil Dev encouraged a culture where seniors were to be respected as not seen as buddies, yaars or cronies. He would like it if someone called him Paaji. There are other instances where without naming names he talks about a time where a senior player did not want to face a fiery Wasim Akram and kept going to the non-striker side, giving the strike to Manjrekar. Not sure who the player could be other than Kapil Dev.

    Overall he paints a sorry picture about the dressing room mileau of the 90s. Team meetings were mere formalities and no one really played to win as the fans were supposedly “not expecting” them to win in those days. Skipper Azharuddin would be mumbling to himself and the team would just not their heads pretending to hear every word. Azhar’s strategy if you want to call it that was to leave everything to Almighty.


    .... When K Srikkanth was elevated to captaincy in 1989 one ex-captain remarked:
    "So a hawaldar has been made Commissioner of Police, What next?" ....

    While he is critical of players outside of Mumbai and beyond, he is very generous in praise for overseas players. And yes that would include Ian Chappell who (alongwith jigar ka tukda Greg) every Indian cricket fan worth their salt believe to be the cause of the ruin of Indian cricket. Makes perfect diplomatic sense I guess not to rub fellow commentators the wrong way. Paani me reh kay magarmuch se bair? Nuh-uh. In fact Manjrekar is also kind of giving tutorials on how to suck up to your bosses of the corporate world if you want to bring food to your dining table. He even went to the extent of apologising to viewers on behalf of Dean Jones who made a racist remark at South African Amla for everyone subscribing to cable to hear.

    His bounty of overflowing encomiums extends to players across the border too. Manjrekar Jr goes as far as saying he wished he played under the tutelage of Imran the irresistable Khan. This does not automatically bring his patriotism to question (Jai Maharashtra, remember?) so we’ll let that slide. However his training his gun on North zoners should make him want to move out of his glass house. After all how do you explain freeloaders like Ashok Mankad who survived Test cricket for a decade without a single Test hundred?

    Speaking of match fixing, Manjrekar was also secretly taped by Manoj Prabhakar in that sensational Tehelka expose. Now why would he wanna do that is the million dollar question. The book also addresses the burning topic of match fixing with a straight copybook defensive bat leaving the stumps totally unexposed. All we could get out of him was that Ian Chappell’s views on how matches get fixed are rather naive. Now what exactly did he mean by that is another million dollar question. Manjrekar Jr. also claims that much talked about India-Pak match “awarded” to Pakistan due to bad light was not Azhar’s doing.

    All in all a book makes breezy reading for the quintessential desi cricket afficionado though I would not really qualify it as a must-read. The book covers cricket from bygone era and current times with aplomb. Though certain portions already covered by Tendulkar such as the 96 World Cup could have been edited out as it is clearly a ploy to increase the thickness of the book.

    .... The World Cup '96 India vs Pakistan encounter
    In those days it was rare for India to win a crunch situation match
    both Sachin and Sanjay mention this match in their bios ....





    By Suresh Doré


    So you want to run a marathon? Completing 26.2 miles is an awe-inspiring accomplishment that requires commitment and dedication and that provides many rewards, not least of which is joining the .5 percent of the U.S. population who have run a marathon. Most training plans
    call for 16 to 20 weeks of training. You’ll run three to five (or more) times per week, and your weekly mileage total will gradually increase as you get closer to the big race day.

    .... A marathon is an awe-inspiring accomplishment that
    that provides many rewards....

    The key to successful marathon training is consistently putting in enough weekly mileage to get your body accustomed to running for long periods of time. Newer runners may start with 15 to 20 miles per week total and gradually build to a peak week of 35 to 40 miles. More experienced runners may start at 35 or more miles per week and peak at 50 or more miles. When you select a training plan, avoid those that would increase your volume by more than about 10 percent in the first week. (For example, if you usually run 20-mile weeks, avoid plans that have you running much more than 22 miles in week 1.) Find a training plan here.

    The most important part of your training is a weekly long run at an easy “conversational” pace that gradually increases in distance, week over week, to build your strength and endurance. Spending the extra time on your feet helps prepare your muscles, joints, bones, heart, lungs, and brain for going 26.2 on race day. Most training plans build to at least one 18- to 20-mile long run. Most coaches do not recommend completing the full marathon distance in training because they believe the risk of injury outweighs any potential benefits.

    .... Most coaches do not recommend completing
    the full marathon distance in training as
    the risk of injury outweighs the benefits.....

    Your training plan may also feature weekly or biweekly speedwork, tempo runs, or miles at marathon pace. Common speed workouts for marathoners include mile repeats (usually at about 10K pace) and Yasso 800s (repeats at somewhere between 5K and 10K pace). “Tempo run” most often refers to a sustained effort at comfortably hard (about half marathon) pace, meant to build speed and endurance. And segments at marathon pace—which may be done as part of a long run or as an independent workout—help you to ingrain that pace in your mind and body before race day.

    Select a couple of long runs in the month or two before the race to use as “dress rehearsals.” Get up and start running the same time you will on race day. Eat and drink what you’ll eat on the day before, the morning of, and during your race the day before, the morning of, and during the dress rehearsal run. Wear the same shoes and clothing you plan to wear in the marathon. This gives you the opportunity to troubleshoot any problems, and to respect the cardinal rule of marathoning: Never Try Anything New on Race Day.

    .... Never Try Anything New on Race Day......

    What to Eat and Drink

    What you eat before, during, and after you run can make or break your training. Eat too little and you’ll bonk—that is, run out of energy to finish your run. Too much and you’ll find yourself running to the bathroom. Midrun fuel—from sports drinks, gels, gummy bears, etc.—helps you sustain energy to finish the effort.

    Before you run: To sustain energy, you need to eat something before any run lasting more than 60 minutes. Ideally, you should have a high-carb, low-fiber meal three to four hours before you plan to run. That time frame gives your body a chance to fully digest and reduces risk of midrun stomach issues. However, if you’re running in the morning, it’s not always possible to leave that much time between your meal and your run. If you have at least an hour before your workout, eat about 50 grams of carbs (that’s equal to a couple pancakes or waffles with syrup or a bagel with honey). If you’re doing a really long run, consider adding in a little protein, which will help sustain your energy levels. A PB&J sandwich or a hard-boiled egg are good choices.

    .............. If you’re doing a really long run,
    add some protein to sustain your energy levels.............

    During your run: Taking in fuel—in the form of mostly carbohydrates—during training runs that exceed 60 minutes will help keep your blood sugar even and your energy levels high. Runners should consume about 30 to 60 grams of carbs per hour of exercise (it’s best to spread that out over time intervals that work for you, such as every 20 minutes). You can get the right amount of carbs from sports drinks (16 ounces of Gatorade provides 28 grams of carbs), one to two energy gels (GU Energy Gels provide about 22 grams in one packet), or energy chews, like Clif Shot Bloks, which provide about 24 grams of carbs in a three-block serving. Real foods, like a quarter cup of raisins or two tablespoons of honey, also provide the right amount of easily digested carbs that will energize your run. Everyone’s tolerance for fuel is different, however, so the key is to find out what works for you during your training so you know what to take in on race day.