There was a special visitor to watch Madhya Pradesh and Delhi battle in the final of the Buchi Babu tournament, which has been revived after five years, in Coimbatore on Sunday.
P. Ramesh was a former Tamil Nadu and South Zone batter who played 30 First Class matches. More importantly, he is a living symbol of the legacy left behind by a man in whose memory the tournament is being held.
The 70-year-old Ramesh is the great-grandson of Buchi Babu Naidu, known as the ‘Father of Madras Cricket’, for having promoted the sport among the local population in the city in the late 19th and early 20th century before his untimely demise in 1908.
Speaking to Sportstar, a visibly pleased Ramesh said, “I am so happy they have revived the tournament. Last year, when I met the TNCA President and Secretary, I requested them to revive the tournament, and they kept the promise. It is a prestigious tournament and offers a good chance for youngsters to play at a higher level of cricket and learn the nuances of the game from the seniors,” he added.
Ramesh made a century on his Ranji Trophy debut for TN against Karnataka, facing the likes of Erapalli Prasanna and B. S. Chandrasekhar.
He later was a South Zone selector for the Colts team and recalled selecting Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble for the under-19 team.
Ramesh, who will give the trophy on Monday, also said he was pleased with how the tournament has been organised and added that his wish is to see a stand in Chepauk named after his great-grandfather.