Prakash Poddar: BCCI talent spotter who picked MS Dhoni for bigger league is dead | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Former Bengal batsman Prakash Poddarbest known for being one of two talent spotters who suggested the name of a certain MS Dhoni to BCCI bigwigs, has died in Hyderabad, according to information received from sources at the Bengal Cricket Association ( CAB).
Poddar, who played for Bengal and Rajasthan, was 82 and lived in Hyderabad where he breathed his last on December 29.
Poddar, a good hitter in the 1960s who joined the Indian Test team for a home series against England in 1962, had 11 first-class hundreds to his name with an average of just under 40.
Poddar and his former Bengal teammate Raju MukherjeeThe role of in recommending the name of Mahendra Singh Dhoni to the former head of BCCI’s Talent Development and Research Wing (TRDW), Dilip Vengsarkar, has become part of cricketing folklore.
“PC da (as he was affectionately called) and Raju (Mukherjee) were TRDOs (Talent and Research Development Officers) and Dhoni was playing for Bihar at the time (before Jharkhand got BCCI status) in a Ranji one day in Jamshedpur. Both they saw his great successes and recommended his name to Dilip,” fondly recalls veteran sports journalist Makarand Waingankar, who played an important role in the establishment of TRDO.
“PC da felt that a guy with such hand-eye coordination would be lost playing in the East Zone leg and BCCI had to nurture and groom him. The rest is history,” Waingankar said.
In the biopic MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, national coach Kiran More was seen talking to someone called Prakash, who described him as a young man known for hitting sixes for fun.
Former Bengal captain and BCCI match referee Mukherjee paid a rich tribute to Poddar on his blog.
“As talent scouts of BCCI, Lulu-da (nickname of Poddar) and this writer were the first to identify the outstanding talents of a man from Jharkhand (then Bihar) and inform BCCI about him. Lulu-da has always claimed, “I wonder what zonal and national coaches have been doing all these years, whenever the late arrival of an MSD has been discussed,” Mukherjee wrote in his blog.
People like Prakash Chandra Poddar become footnotes in the glitzy history of Indian cricket but without footnotes like him there would be no history.


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