Mumbai: Former Indian wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani was on Thursday nominated for the Col. C.K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award for 2015.
The award committee — consisting of BCCI President Shashank Manohar, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur and The Hindu editor N. Ram — met at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) headquarters here and selected 65-year-old Kirmani, who played 88 Tests and 49 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) between 1976 and 1986.
The BCCI celebrates the birth centenary of C.K. Nayudu, the country’s first Test captain, by instituting an annual Lifetime Achievement Award to honour individuals for their unparalleled contribution to Indian cricket, on and off the field. The award comprises a trophy, citation and cheque for Rs.25 lakhs.
Kirmani was best known for keeping wickets during the reign of India’s famous spin quartet — Bishan Singh Bedi, B. Chandrasekhar, Erapalli Prasanna, S. Venkataraghvan — and did the job remarkably well. Having started his career as an understudy to Farokh Engineer, Kirmani took over the responsibility and added his charm to the role in a decade-long career.
It was thanks to his tenacious approach that he scored two Test centuries in the lower order. Against England in 1981-82, he did not concede a single bye in three consecutive Tests.
Named the best keeper in the 1983 World Cup, it was Kirmani who shared an unbeaten 126 runs partnership with Kapil Dev against Zimbabwe as the Indian captain went on to register one of India’s greatest wins at Tunbridge Wells.
As the spinners made way for a seam attack led by Kapil Dev, Kirmani made the necessary transition and quickly adapted to the needs of the new look bowling attack. The Indian government awarded him the Padma Shri in 1982.
He was also vice-president of Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) and the chairman of the national selection committee between 2003 and 2005.