Why Javagal Srinath retired prematurely

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Despite winning against Sri Lanka and West Indies, coach Greg Chappell was worried because Team India generally travelled poorly and living out of a suitcase was something they were always terrible at. Most importantly, whenever they missed their favourite dish, the team more often snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

India’s ‘Power Play’ came mainly from players munching their pet snacks at regular intervals. Grapevine was that the coach, known for his innovative methods, had whipped up something special for WC.

Before leaving Bombay last night, he agreed to share the recipe he had in mind to bring the World Cup home.

“I heard you are making special preparations for the World Cup?”

“That’s right. Food maketh a man and behind the success of great cricketers are their favourite dishes. I have found by experience that Team India throws a match away from a great position, even if they get a whiff of doubt their favourite course may not be available for dinner. On some occasions, they have fought like the devils from a hopeless position to win a match when the aroma of mouth-watering food wafts from pavilion on to the pitch. Nowadays, I keep a cook next to me always.”

“Could you please elaborate?”

“Sure. I have gone thro’ Sachin’s bio and the whole world knows he likes hilsa fish cooked over slow fire after marinating with wine. But I was shocked to find, match after match, they were feeding him with peanut butter sandwich with jam and banana.  That’s staple food for a tennis player and a forerunner of tennis elbow. That’s how Sachin got his famous Tennis Elbow!”

“That’s terrible!”

“If I have hilsa from Tendulkars’ in hand and call Sachin for training at midnight, I am sure his nose will pick it up in Bandra and he’ll come running! Did you know Dravid, all along, was given tortoise soup with snails dipped in yoghurt as hors d’oeuvre during one-day matches? No wonder his strike rate was crawling! I replaced it with rabbit soup cooked with hare’s legs from Topkapi dipped in Australian chilly sauce. Look, how he raced up to 10000+!  He now takes even Dhoni’s catches standing in slips!”

“You have unusual coaching methods which even Lords won’t have a clue. How did you fix Ganguly’s problems?”

“These are out of box solutions. I analysed Ganguly’s problems in Zimbabwe itself but the solution took long time in coming! Dalmiya had told me Ganguly likes rosogulla and he can’t be without it for even as long as ten minutes. That’s the time he was spending at the wicket earlier! In one-day matches, when he is facing Shoaib Akhtar or Glen McGrath and the white ball is fired at close to 100 miles per hour, he thinks a rosogulla is coming his way and tries to get his mouth in position.  The result is usually clumsy, loss of face, and ridicule.”

“So, what was your solution?”

“Solution? Now, I give him a few rosogullas before he walks to the pitch! This helps him get over the craze at least for a   couple of overs. Both K.C. Das and Ganguram, makers of world–famous rasogullas help me in this. During drinks breaks, one of their staff dressed as the 12th man takes a box of these to the pitch for Ganguly to choose from.  Sourav scored as many rosogullas as runs in the recent series against Sri Lanka! But I am not complaining!”

“It’s a brilliant move! Are there favourite eats for other players too?”

“You bet there are, mate. It’s my job to find ‘em out!  Kumble loves boondi laddus and I always give him one, the size of cricket ball complete with resins, kesari, sugar crystals and cashew nuts. We get boxes of laddus from MTR in Bangalore! It gives Kumble a feel of the ball even before he gets to bowl!”


“I know Srinath retired prematurely as they couldn’t get him Mysore Bonda and Mysore pak from Guru Sweet Mart.  Imagine losing a great pace bowler like that! I always make sure Sreesanth gets his chicken with green and red chilli powder sprinkled all over. That’s how he got his back on Nel in Jo’berg and did a Kathakali! For the Rajkot match, I got Dinesh Karthik his Thairu Saadam  from Dasaprakash so he remains cool; he has become a good finisher for us!”

“Mr. Chappell, I’m sure by the time you are done with Indian team you’ll have a Cricketers’ Recipe Bible! My last question—how will you get these in West Indies as they are all special dishes from different parts of India?”

“A very good question indeed. We have already selected a team of cooks under the captaincy of Jiggs Kalra!  They are already in the West Indies getting used to the local conditions before we land this evening!”

Cross-posted on churumuri



  1. Doddi Buddi said

    Namma Mysore/Mandya bashelli helbeku andhrey!

    Idhu 60s 70s maathu galu

    “Javawagh bittrey gaaidiyilla’

    “Mutton bittrey oota yilla”

    antha namma poorvikaru heltha yidhru…Java gadi andhrey Java Ideal Java motorcycle!

  2. Forget about pop Mysore food like the bondas, dosas and the paks. Srinath probably retired early because he didn’t get good old akki/raagi rotti with bele/eerulli chutney, bassaaru with soppina palya, hidakavare huli with raagi mudde, anna with goddu saaru and slices of onion, hunase and eerulli gojju…..the list is endless. Unfortunately, these recipes from our region have no recognition in our collective palate.

    Probably because unlike the bondas, dosas and paks, these need some commitment to the preparation? An intimate knowledge of the right (and only) way to savour raagi mudde? The anticipation of avare kaayi? Whereas the dosas and the idlis and the vades are easy – easy to make and easier still to eat?

    We unfortunately have forgotten our own food. We prefer burfis to kajjaayas, laddoos to rave undes and pulao to chitraanna.

    How about asking the local restaurant to serve us our food instead of something that is either from Punjab or apparently from China?

  3. Doddi Buddi said


    Thumba chennagi describe madiddheera! My mouth is watering! Best ragi cuisine is found only in Mysore, Mandya and some parts of Hassan districts.

    Hurali kattu gottha nimagey?

    Adhralli anna kalasi thindrey bahala channagirutthey

  4. Yaak swami jnapisi hotte urustira? Num MTR avaru adanna maadi maaridre avara sales raatro raatri double aagatte.

  5. Doddi Buddi said


    Swalpa Arizona kadey banni. Huralikattu kodtheevi. Thinnoranthey.

  6. NostalgicMysorean said

    Saaku..Nanna bayi neeroorthide.Nan irodu Texas nalli.Nange Raagi Mudde thnbekantha Bayake.Yaradru simple agi recipe barithira? Ragi hittu Tx nalli [Dalas]nalli elli sikkuthe?

  7. jaggesh said

    doddi buddi avare,

    arizonali ellidira heLi… nim invitation nanagoo open iddare, ivattE bartini… horage tiMdu tiMdu naalige sattOgide… 😦

  8. Doddi Buddi said

    Hi Jaggesh,

    Email me at hevilly2filly@yahoo.com


  9. Arun said

    jaggesh…hoggidhraa doddi buddi-avara maneyge?

  10. Pulikeshi the Last said

    Sachin eats fish? Now I don’t care whether he becomes the next Lord Sobers.

  11. Raghunath said

    I think srinath retired because of jayasuriya who was a better cook than ricky ponting because they used to milk his bowling like any thing and srinath had a better option to learn doosra from harbhajan, as jayasuriya had reinvented a new off spinner in srinath, and after that ricky ponting taught how to experiment in offspin bowling but uptill now he has not be able to read the bone and flesh of the finger of Harbhajans fingers. And also that dada was really scared of srinaths bowing as he was master to injure all other members on cricket ground accept the opposite team members.

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