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Sachin's class of '89: What are Azhar, Razdan, Prabhakar doing now?

It's been 30 years since India’s eventful tour of Pakistan in 1989-90.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Dec 16, 2019, 02.45 PM IST
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Clockwise from left: Tendulkar plays a shot during 1990s in Bombay; Manoj Prabhakar, Mohammad Azharuddin, and Vivek Razdan.​
Clockwise from left: Tendulkar plays a shot during 1990s in Bombay; Manoj Prabhakar, Mohammad Azharuddin, and Vivek Razdan.
K Srikkanth exchanged blows with a spectator. Another fan pinched Abdul Qadir’s posterior. And Sachin Tendulkar made his debut. It is 30 years since India’s eventful tour of Pakistan in 1989-90.

Here’s what some of the players are up to now.

India

K Srikkanth (captain)

​Krishnamachari Srikkanth, Indian opening batsman who made his test debut in 1981, at the nets in New Delhi on February 22, 1992​.
Krishnamachari Srikkanth, Indian opening batsman who made his test debut in 1981, at the nets in New Delhi on February 22, 1992.

Srikkanth was 30 and the team’s captain, but still a man-child, given his impish mannerisms and free-style batting. Reminiscing about the tour in an online essay, Sanjay Manjrekar, the highest scorer from both teams in the contest, wrote that on the very first day of the first Test, a Pakistani fan casually walked on to the pitch and shouted anti-India slogans. He and Srikkanth ended up in a scuffle. It was that kind of a time, that kind of a place. Srikkanth had a less exciting time with the bat, scoring only 97 runs in seven innings in the drawn Test series and 48 in two innings in ODIs, which India lost 0-2. So poor was India’s performance in the ODIs that Srikkanth was actually their topscorer.

Later years
Srikkanth last played for India in 1992. After retirement, he held several high-profile roles in Indian cricket, including chief selector from 2008 to 2012, during which India won the 2011 World Cup.

Mohammad Azharuddin
The former Indian captain was often called Destiny’s Child. This series showed why. Azhar had not scored a hundred in almost three years and was the 12th man for the first Test. But Raman Lamba reported unfit.

The rest is history. Azhar took five catches in Pakistan’s first innings. Later, he became the only Indian batsman other than Manjrekar to score a century in Tests on this tour. He was India’s second highest run getter (312 from 7 innings at an average of 44.57. Manjrekar scored 569 from 7 at 94.83).

On the verge of turning 27, Azhar was one of the team’s established players and about to take over the captaincy. Sure enough, or so the story goes, Raj Singh Dungarpur popped the question one day on the tour, “ Miyan, captain banoge?”

A Starry Affair At Asad-Anam's Reception: Farah Khan, GVK Boss, Former Cricketers Join Azha...

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Wonderful Tonight

13 Dec, 2019
Former Team India skipper Mohammad Azharuddin's son Asad and Sania Mirza's sister Anam tied the knot in a lavish, traditional ceremony in Hyderabad. The families celebrated the couple's union with festivities spread across days, culminating in a grand reception in the city. In Pic (clockwise from left): Anam and Asad at their reception; GV Krishna Reddy and Indira Reddy; Sania Mirza with Azharuddin; Farah Khan and singer Neeti Mohan.
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Later years
Azhar led India in 47 Tests and 174 ODIs over almost a decade. He was banned from cricket for alleged match fixing. After cricket, he joined the Congress. Currently he is the president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association.

Vivek Razdan
The then 20-year-old fast-bowler and competent batsman made his debut during the series with Tendulkar and Salil Ankola. Razdan grabbed sports magazine covers after taking 5 for 79 in the fourth Test. Unbelievably, he did not play another Test for India, such is the politics or the roll of the dice in team sport. But Razdan will always have a place in history as the first player with origins in Jammu and Kashmir to play for India.

Later years
Razdan played domestic cricket for Tamil Nadu and Delhi and then became a commentator and coach.

Salil Ankola

​Cricketer Salil Ankola at McDowell Signature Celebrity tournament at United Services Club in Mumbai on June 6, 2004.​
Cricketer Salil Ankola at McDowell Signature Celebrity tournament at United Services Club in Mumbai on June 6, 2004.

The 21-year-old Ankola’s promise was such that within months of playing domestic cricket, he was on the plane to Pakistan. He was unusually fast and tall for an Indian bowler at the time. Good looks accelerated Ankola’s fame. In Pakistan, his very first one-day wicket was Imran Khan’s. He also hit the great Khan for a six when it was his turn to bat. However, it was overall a tour of meagre returns. Ultimately, injuries from a long run-up, selection issues and personal problems brought a hasty end to Ankola’s career.

Later years
Ankola last played for India in 1997. After his cricket days he became an actor. He has battled personal tragedies and alcohol addiction but is in a better place now.

Manoj Prabhakar
Not a nice man to know is his reputation. But the wily swing bowler was one of India’s crucial players of that era. A big mover of the ball and reputed to be the first Indian to learn reverse swing, Prabhakar could also hold an end with the bat and had the stomach for a fight against any opposition. In Pakistan, the then 26-year-old was the team’s top wicket-taker in Tests (16 scalps) and ODIs (5). He also registered the best individual bowling performance of the se-ries, a 6/132 in the second Test in Faisalabad. Prabhakar was also one of the better Indian batsmen in the Tests, scraping together 168 runs from six innings.

Later years
The roguish Prabhakar did a sting opera-tion on the high and mighty of Indian cricket as part of a magazine’s expose on match fix-ing. Questions were also raised about him and Nayan Mongia deliberately batting slow in a game. Prabhakar was the bowl-ing coach of Delhi, Rajasthan and Afghanistan. Most recently he and his wife were accused of trespassing into another per-son’s property by Delhi police.

On the other side

Imran Khan

​Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (r) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan at his official residence in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (r) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan at his official residence in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Two years after the tour, Imran reached the pinnacle of his career by leading Pakistan to victory in the 1992 World Cup. Currently, he is the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Waqar Younis
Made his debut in Karachi with Tendulkar and broke his nose with a snorter, after which Tendulkar famously resumed batting and hit him for two fours. The wiry toe-crusher with an Afro now has a receding hairline and spectacles and is Pakistan’s bowling coach.

Wasim Akram
Tall, deceptive, fast and lefty, Akram at his best was almost unplayable. Till recently, he was Pakistan’s Cricket Committee head. He is also a regular on commentary panels.

Javed Miandad
The batsman who blended cricketing ability with street smartness was integral to Pakistan’s World Cup success in 1992. Post retirement, the man who hit a last ball six in Sharjah against India, has served as the national coach and is also a television expert.

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