Mumbai: Tom Alter was not only a great actor but also a published author and a cricket enthusiast. The actor also had a strong command over Hindi and Urdu languages.
Alter died at an age of 67, not only India lost a great actor but also a cricket expert. Alter was diagnosed with Stage 4 skin cancer in early September, and died on Friday night at his residence in Mumbai.
Being a cricket expert, he would coach his students at his first job as a teacher at St. Thomas School, Jagadhri, in Haryana. Gradually, Alter went on to become a cricket writer, penning pieces for publications like Sportsweek, Outlook and Debonair.
Hindustan Times mentions, he was the first journalist to take Sachin’s TV interview. In 1988, Tom Alter probably took the most important sports interview of his life. Sachin Tendulkar, a 16-year-old boy then, took his questions on West Indies, their fast bowlers as well as his thoughts on domestic cricket. That interaction would go down as the first TV interview of India’s most famous cricketer and Alter played a prominent part of it.
Not only he interviewed the cricketers but he himself played for an Indian XI, led by Sunil Gavaskar, against a USA X in 1983, after the World Cup. That Indian team included Mohinder Amarnath, Ravi Shastri, Roger Binny, Yashpal Sharma, Sandeep Patil, Madan Lal, Balwinder Sandhu among others.
“I bowled four good overs, got the rival captain lbw, and was embraced by Gavaskar and Kirmani and Madan and Mohinder and Ravi and Roger. We won the match,” Alter wrote in 2016 Wisden Almanack, about his experience.
Alter wanted a ban on Dhoni:
After MS Dhoni retired from Test cricket midway of India’s away tour in Australia in 2014, Alter was angry.
“He should be banned from representing India ever again. He has not only broken his contract, he has broken a sacred bond with those of us who truly love Indian cricket and he does not give a damn. Why? Because he is the corporate favourite, the boss’ and the bosses’ favourite, and for them losing or winning is not important, it is all ‘brand’ and money and such total and utter rubbish,” Alter wrote in a piece for Firstpost.