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Lala Amarnath

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Title: Lala Amarnath  
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Subject: Indian cricket team in Australia in 1947–48, Pakistani cricket team in India in 1952–53, Maharajkumar of Vizianagram, List of India Test cricket centurions, West Indian cricket team in India, Pakistan and Ceylon in 1948–49
Collection: 1911 Births, 2000 Deaths, Aligarh Muslim University Alumni, Cricketers Who Made a Century on Test Debut, Gujarat Cricketers, Hindus Cricketers, India Test Cricket Captains, India Test Cricket Centurions, India Test Cricketers, Indian Cricket Captains, Indian Starlets Cricketers, North Zone Cricketers, Patiala Cricketers, People from Kapurthala, People from Patiala, Railways Cricketers, Rajasthan Cricketers, Recipients of the Padma Bhushan, Southern Punjab Cricketers, Sportspeople from Lahore, Uttar Pradesh Cricketers
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Lala Amarnath

Lala Amarnath
Amarnath batting at Lord's in 1936
Cricket information
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium pace
International information
National side
Career statistics
Competition Tests First-class
Matches 24 184
Runs scored 878 10,426
Batting average 24.38 41.37
100s/50s 1/4 31/59
Top score 118 262
Balls bowled 4241 29,474
Wickets 45 463
Bowling average 32.91 22.98
5 wickets in innings 2 19
10 wickets in match 0 3
Best bowling 5/96 7/27
Catches/stumpings 13 96/2
Source: Cricinfo

Nanik Amarnath Bhardwaj     (commonly known as Lala Amarnath; 11 September 1911 – 5 August 2000) was an Indian Test cricketer. He was the first cricketer to score a Test century for the Indian cricket team, which he achieved on his debut.[1]He also played for Aligarh Muslim University before moving to Lahore.[2] [3]He was also independent India's first Test captain, leading the team on a tour of Australia in 1947-1948. The Government of India awarded him the civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan in 1991.[4]


  • Early Life 1
  • 1936 England Tour 2
  • Captain and Manager 3
  • Family and Legacy 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early Life

Amarnath was born in Kapurthala, Punjab, and was raised in Lahore. He played his debut match against England in 1933 on the Bombay Gymkhana grounds in South Bombay. Amarnath also played for the Hindus in the Bombay Quadrangular. Aside from being a tenacious batsman, Lala Amarnath was also a bowler of some repute and was the only bowler to dismiss Donald Bradman hit wicket.

1936 England Tour

Amarnath was controversially sent back from the 1936 tour of England by the captain, the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram, for "indiscipline".[5] Amarnath and others allege it was due to politics. Vizzy, the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram, was named the captain for Indian cricket team for the 1936 tour of England, a post that he secured after lobbying and manipulation. Unfortunately, his desperately poor captaincy on the field resulted in even the normally reserved British press commenting on it. Some of the senior players in the squad, including Lala Amarnath, C. K. Nayudu and Vijay Merchant, were critical of Vizzy's playing abilities and captaincy, and the team was split between those who supported and criticised the captain. The low point in the tour occurred during India's match against Minor Counties at Lord's. Lala Amarnath had been nursing a back injury during the game. Vizzy had Amarnath pad up, but didn't put him in to bat as a succession of other batsmen were sent in ahead of him, which prevented Amarnath from resting his injury. Amarnath was finally put in to bat at the end of the day. Visibly angry after returning to the dressing room, he threw his kit into his bag and muttered in Punjabi, "I know what is transpiring". Vizzy took this as an affront, and conspired with team manager Major Jack Brittain-Jones to have Lala Amarnath sent back from the tour without playing the first test match.[6] It is also alleged that in the 1st Test against the England, Vizzy offered Mushtaq Ali a gold watch to run out Vijay Merchant.[6]

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. He lived in Patiala in the Indian state of Punjab till 1957, when he moved to the capital, Delhi. Lala Amarnath had received his education at Aligarh Muslim University. [7] Amarnath is widely respected for reaching out to bridge the divide between players and fans of India and Pakistan, caused by political tensions between the two countries.[8] Amarnath as captain was complimented for being straightforward and aggressive, and possessing great tactical acumen. Under his leadership, India won its first-ever Test against the Pakistan cricket team 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. Throughout his twilight years, Amarnath was considered a living legend of Indian cricket.[9]

Preceded by
Nawab of Pataudi, snr
Indian National Test Cricket Captain
Succeeded by
Vijay Hazare
Preceded by
Vijay Hazare
Indian National Test Cricket Captain
Succeeded by
Vijay Hazare
Preceded by
Learie Constantine
Nelson Cricket Club

Succeeded by
Bert Nutter


  1. ^ "'Pure romantic, Byron of Indian cricket'".  
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  5. ^ Lynch, Steven. "You're fired". Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ "Academics – Centres – Games Committee".  
  8. ^ Omar Kureishi (9 August 2000). "Amarnath's death a sad moment in cricket". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  9. ^ "India's most legendary of figures". ESPNcricinfo. August 1994. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 

External links

  • Cricinfo Player Profile of Amarnath
  • Cricketarchive Player Profile of Amarnath
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