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Lala Amarnath Bhardwaj - Father Figure of Indian Cricket

Lala Amarnath Bhardwaj (11 September 1911 – 5 August 2000) is considered to be the father figure of Indian cricket. He scored the first-ever century for India in Test Cricket in 1933. He was independent India's first cricket captain and captained India in their first Test series win against Pakistan in 1952.

Test career

In 1933's England's tour of India, Lala Amarnath was the leading run-scorer. In the series, he created history by scoring the first-ever Test 100 by an Indian batsman at Bombay.

Amarnath was controversially sent back from the 1936 tour of England by the captain, the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram, for "indiscipline". Amarnath and others allege it was due to politics. During India's match against Minor Counties at Lord's, Lala Amarnath had been nursing a back injury. Vizzy, the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram, conspired to have Lala Amarnath sent back from the tour without playing the first test match.

Captain and manager

Lala Amarnath was the captain of the Indian team that toured Australia in 1947-1948. When the Partition of India took place in August 1947, Amarnath and his family had to flee the city to escape a Muslim mob. Under his leadership, India won its first-ever Test against Pakistan in Delhi in 1952 and went on to win the series 2–1. Amarnath also managed the team when it toured Pakistan in 1954-55.

Family and legacy

His sons Mohinder and Surinder also played cricket for India, and another son Rajinder played first-class cricket while his grandson Digvijay is also a first-class player. Throughout his twilight years, Amarnath was considered a living legend of Indian cricket.

Mohinder played the role of his father in the 2021 sports drama 83, while Mohinder himself was portrayed by Saqib Saleem. Both of them had previously shared screen space in the 2016 action comedy Dishoom.