Engineer’s Day: On the birth anniversary of civil engineer Sir M. Visvesvaraya, born on September 15, 1862, India along with Sri Lanka and Tanzania, celebrate renowned engineers from all over the country. In a country which celebrates both cricket and engineering, there are a few Indian cricketers who are also qualified engineers.
Combining with BS Chandrashekhar, S Venkatraghavan & Bishen Singh Bedi; EAS Prasanna formed a quartet of Indian spinners in the 1960s and 1970s, but before that he was an engineering graduate from the National Institute of Engineering, Mysuru.
“My degree helped me in understanding biomechanics and aerodynamics. The analytical aspect of engineering helps you analyze better,” Prasanna had once said, crediting his off-spinning ventures to his engineering knowledge.
Although he is more known as an umpire and his record of 156 wickets from 57 Test matches might not seem impressive, Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan did light the world of cricket in the 1970s representing India. Post-retirement, he was a member of the ICC’s elite panel of umpires, after spending more than two decades playing first class, Tests and ODIs.
Part of the golden-era of spinners in Indian cricket, Venkatraghvan completed his engineering degree from College of Engineering, Guindy in Chennai.
Flamboyant batsmen of the 1980s, Krishnamachari Srikanth holds a B.E. degree in Electrical Engineering from College of Engineering, Guindy in Chennai. Although he did use to play cricket during his college life, Srikanth didn’t realise that he could become a Test cricketer before his final year.
“People like me for the way I play and not my records. And I will continue playing the way I play, only better,” Srikanth had said once, showcasing how suave he has always been ever since his college days.
With 619 Test and 337 ODI wickets, Anil Kumble is the highest wicket-taker for India in both the formats. Perhaps his analytical grasp with the ball made it so difficult for batsmen to deal with his deadly leg-spin. He has a B.E. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rashtreeya Vidyalaya College of Engineering, Bangalore.
“It helps to balance the good and bad. In cricket, you can’t guarantee success, so education equips you to deal with it,” Kumble had once said talking about the importance of education.
When people talk about India’s best pacer, Javagal Srinath’s name does come up more than once. He holds a B.E. degree in Instrumentation Technology from Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering, Mysuru. His career as a cricketer and then later as a match referee didn’t make him forget the importance of education like his teammate, Anil Kumble.
“You may feel clubbing education with cricket is a tough task in life. Going by the experience of cricketers like me, Anil Kumble and Krishnamachari Srikkanth, who have pursued engineering, it is not a difficult task to club education with cricket,” Srinath had said.
Arguably India’s best contemporary off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin’s method with the ball and constant experimentation has always mesmerised the world. The 32-year-old has a B. Tech degree in Information Technology from SSN College of Engineering, Chennai. After surviving an initial period of working at a firm post-graduation, he continued to pursue his cricketing dream, picking up 342 Test wickets along the way.
Speaking in an interview, Ashwin had said, “As for my engineering degree, my parents put me through it after I played my Under-17 cricket”.