Asian Cricket Star, SSPF Cricket Secretary Surinder Khanna, And His Journey
Surinder Khanna was one of the hardest hitters of the ball in domestic Cricket circuit in the 80’s. Former Indian wicket-keeper and batsman, he debuted in 1976, but playing for Delhi in Ranji Trophy against Karnataka in Bangalore (1978-79) brought him to rising fame. In this season, he made a century in each innings and Delhi made a triumph victory at the Nationals.
Born June 3, 1956, legendary Surinder Khanna was a strong lead as a wicket keeper in the domestic matches. With his name shining in the world of cricket in the late 70’s, he became a designated wicketkeeper for India in 1979 world cup in England.
As much as, he was an exceptional player off the back foot, he was also a beast when it came to aggressive ‘win the goal’ moment in the matches. His batting was remarkable, and he was known for his furious stroke play against best of the bowlers. He was an example of rare gift among Indian batsman. As a wicket-keeper, he was the most reliable and he earned the spot all by his hard work and merit. For Khanna, cricket was and still is a way of life; deep-rooted with practice and passion etched for life.
His career includes ten one day tournament and 106 first class matches which marked the best of his days. He always cherishes his debut days in 1976, often calling them as one happy vivid moment of his career span.
In one of his foremost interviews, where he talked about his glory day at the Ranji Trophy against Karnataka in Bangalore, he mentions, “Karnataka had a good side. (Gundappa) Viswanath, (Brijesh) Patel, (EAS) Prasanna, (BS) Chandrasekhar. It was a formidable side. But we had Mohinder and Surinder (Amarnath), Madan Lal, Chetan Chauhan, Rakesh Shukla, and Bedi Saab motivating us all through. I was destined to get those centuries and it just happened. Don’t forget Mohinder made 178 not out and we recovered from 49 for five in the second innings. We had a good partnership (256 runs) and I was so engrossed in batting that I did not realize I had scored my second century.” One of the best compliments that he still takes pride is when Bedi Saab gave him a warm hug when he returned to the dressing room after the match. He also made remarkable niche as India’s hero at the Asia Cup 1984, where he was declared as Man of the Series for his 51 not out against Sri Lanka and 56 against Pakistan.
Having joined as the Cricket Secretary in School Sports Promotion Foundation (SSPF), Surinder Khanna feels immensely proud to join this great initiative to promote honest talent at the grassroots level.
He said in one of the interviews, ‘I played in an era when players were honest, officials were honest. There was no money those days but cricket was good. Today, everyone wants to come and play cricket and people are willing to go to any extent to push their sons and students.’
As quoted from his earlier press interaction, Cricket star Surinder Khanna looks forward to being of any help, possible to bring forth all deserving candidates from remote rural and urban cities of the country, and condition them from basic to a level that shapes the overall mindset of sportsmanship in India.