Ghulam Ahmed centenary: My brief encounter with the legend

I met Ghulam Ahmed saheb only once, but four decades later the  moment remains enshrined in my mind. 

I was holding additional charge of sports at The Hindu and Sportstar when the latter introduced a new feature “The best batsman I ever bowled”/The best bowler I ever faced”. I was assigned to interview Ghulam Ahmed. I was told by colleagues “he rarely entertains the press.”  A visit to his Punjagutta house proved fruitless.

Apart from being a busy cricket administrator, he was member of the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission. Hence, not easy to reach. 

MS Education Academy

Luck smiled when he called me back and I explained. “Sir, state your convenience. I will come over.’ His reply “Rao, no problem. I live close by. I will walk down to your office and we will talk.’  

The pleasant interaction lasted about an hour over a cup of Nescafe (The Hindu’s customary welcome beverage those days). I can’t recall anything about the subject. I was just ‘bowled over’ by his infectious charm.

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