Lala Amarnath is one of the most iconic figures in Indian cricket. He is best known as the first captain of independent India and the first to lead India to a win against Pakistan. He was a great batsman, bowler and fielder and made significant contributions to the development of Indian cricket in the post-independence era. This article looks at his early life, career highlights, contribution to Indian cricket and his legacy.
Lala Amarnath was born on 11th September 1911 in Sialkot, Punjab. His father, Lala Bhagwandas, was a lawyer and his mother, Lala Chanda Devi, was a homemaker. He was the eldest of four siblings. He had a passion for cricket from a young age and was selected to represent his school in the local tournaments. He went on to play first-class cricket for the Northern India team in 1928.
Amarnath made his Test debut for India in 1933 against England in Bombay. He scored a total of 128 runs in the two innings of the match. He was the first Indian batsman to score a century in Test cricket and the first to score a double century in the Ranji Trophy. He also achieved the distinction of being the first Indian to take a five-wicket haul in Test cricket. He was appointed captain of the Indian team in 1952 and led India to its first win against Pakistan in 1954.
Contribution to Indian Cricket
Amarnath was an innovator and a great motivator of his players. He was the first captain to introduce the idea of ‘team unity’ and ‘team spirit’ in Indian cricket. He also laid the foundation of modern-day batting and bowling techniques. He was a great strategist and was instrumental in developing the spin bowling attack of India. He was a great mentor to the young cricketers and was the first to introduce the concept of the ‘all-rounder’ in Indian cricket.
Legacy of Lala Amarnath
Lala Amarnath is remembered for his outstanding contributions to Indian cricket. He was a great leader and strategist and was a mentor to many young cricketers. He was the first Indian to score a century in Test cricket and the first to take a five-wicket haul in Test cricket. He was also the first captain of independent India and the first to lead India to a win against Pakistan. He was instrumental in developing the spin bowling attack of India and introducing the concept of the ‘all-rounder’