CHENNAI: Former India batsman
passed away at his residence due to cardiac arrest on Thursday. The 57-year-old is survived by his wife and two daughters. VB, as he was popularly known, represented India in 7 ODIs and was known for his attacking batting style.
VB hailed from the select band of cricketers to have been associated with the game at various capacities. Not only did he represent India at the highest level, VB also played a key role in the state domestic line-up and even turned out for Goa – before donning the roles of a selector, coach and commentator.
VB came into the national reckoning during the Irani Trophy clash in 1988 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium where he smashed a 56-ball 100 (eventually getting out on 119) and set up Tamil Nadu’s victory against Rest of India. That innings was the fastest century scored by an Indian in first-class cricket before
broke it with a 48-ball century in a Ranji clash in 2016
In an era where pinch-hitting wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, VB seemed to have mastered it. In the company of the illustrious Kris Srikkanth, VB formed a lethal opening combination for Tamil Nadu. VB played his part in Tamil Nadu winning the
in the 1987-88 season and the Irani Trophy in 1988.
“This is just a shocking piece of news. I have opened along with him on numerous occasions and shared a lovely friendship with him over the years. I even shared a great camaraderie with him during our commentary stints in recent years. He was a deeply religious man and to hear news of him passing away is very difficult to digest,” Srikkanth told TOI. For Srikkanth, VB will always be known as someone who played the greatest ever knock at Chepauk. “I was at the other end of the wicket and to see him tear the ROI attack which had bowlers like
was a great sight,” Srikkanth added.
Known to be a strict vegetarian, VB – during an earlier chat with TOI – narrated an incident to drive home that point. “After watching a game, I felt hungry while walking back to my home. I saw a Buhari restaurant on the way. The name (Buhari) sounded nice to me and I went in. When I came to know they served non-vegetarian, I had to leave since I was a pure vegetarian,” said VB, who did his schooling in St Bede’s and was a qualified engineer.