|Names earned||• Comeback King
• Cricket’s Frank Sinatra – the master of the comeback
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 180 cm
in meters- 1.80 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 9”
|Hair Colour||Salt and Pepper|
|International Debut||ODI- On 7 June 1975 against England at Lord's Cricket Ground
Test- On 24 December 1969 against Australia at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Chennai
Note- There was no T20 at that time.
|Last Match||ODI- On 30 October 1989 against West Indies at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Test- On 11 January 1988 against West Indies at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Chennai
Note- There was no T20 at that time.
|Domestic/State Team||• Baroda
|Bowling Style||Right-arm medium|
|Favourite Shot||Hook shot|
|Records (main ones)||• One of only three players to have been Man of the Match in both the semi-final and the final of the same World Cup
• Only cricketer to be dismissed on handling the ball and obstructing the
• Second Indian with most ducks in a Test series
• Fifth oldest player to score a maiden hundred in One-day Internationals at 37 years 117 days age
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• Arjuna award in the year 1982 by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
• C.K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award in the year 2009 by the BCCI
|Date of Birth||24 September 1950 (Sunday)|
|Age (as of 2021)||71 Years|
|School||MB High School, Mandir Marg, Delhi|
|College/University||Khalsa College, Delhi University|
|Educational Qualifications||Graduation The Hindu|
|Controversies||• 'Bunch of Jokers' Controversy- He was sidelined by the selectors for the coming international games in 1989. Furious Jimmy called selectors "Bunch of Jokers" not knowing he could be the one of them in the future. India Today
• Dhoni Controversy- He criticised the inclusion of Dhoni as a captain of Indian Team in 2012 when the latter ruled out giving up the captaincy in the upcoming games. He said that
“Who is Dhoni to decide about his future as a player and not as skipper? It is the selectors job to decide whether he will be in the team or not. I have nothing against him but tell me, what has Dhoni done in the past one year after winning the World Cup? Unfortunately, he has been in the team only on past records. Dhoni is not the best wicketkeeper in the country at present. “A wicketkeeper-batsman stands more than 30 yards away from the bowler and other fielders, so how can he communicate with them? Moreover, I feel there are better wicketkeeper-batsmen than Dhoni in the country".
His opinion was equally backed-up by his former team-mate Dilip Vengsarkar. Cricket Country
|Relationships & More|
|Parents||Father- Lala Amarnath (former Indian Test Captain)
Mother- Kailash Kumari
|Siblings||Brother- Surinder Amarnath (former Test player)
Rajinder Amarnath (former first-class player)
|Cricketer||Batter- Sunil Gavaskar
Bowler- Kapil Dev
|Cricket Ground||Lord's Cricket Ground|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Mohinder Amarnath
- Mohinder Amarnath is a former Indian cricketer and one of the finest batters against some of the top fast bowling attacks like the West Indies, Australia, and England of the 1970s and 1980s. He played a major role in India’s famous victory in the 1983 World Cup which earned him a Man of the Match in the finals.
- He took three wickets in the finals of that tournament including the key wickets of Jeff Dujon, Malcolm Marshall, and Michael Holding. He was also the second top-scorer in that match. In the semis as well, he took the main wickets of David Gower and Mike Gatting. He also scored 46 valuable runs.
- He is known for some unique dismissals in international cricket. He is the only Indian to be given out handling the ball against Australia on 9 February 1986. Not only this, but he was also given out obstructing the field and hit wicket which earned him a rare distinction of being the only cricketer to do so.
- He was born at a time when his father, a star cricketer was employed by the Maharajas to encourage the development of the game. He used to practice in a field where his father planted pots depicting the fielders and allowing Mohinder to pierce the gaps and learn the art of placement. He was also taught to play steep bouncers aggressively rather than merely tucking a ball.
- His first international century came at the WACA, Perth which is among the bounciest tracks in the world. Then soon he scored ten more centuries against the bowlers like Jeff Thompson, Joel Garner, Andy Roberts, and Michael Holding. He was more lethal against Caribbeans where he managed to score 600 runs in five test matches against them at an impressive average of 66.44.
- He made his first-class debut for Vazir Sultan Tobacco Colts in the Moin-Ud-Dowla Trophy in 1966-67. He was in the squad which toured England and Australia in the late 60s. This series led to the rise of yet another players like Brijesh Patel, Karsan Gavri, and Syed Kirmani. Soon, he started playing for Northern Punjab in Ranji Trophy.
- After playing merely ten first-class games, he got the call from an Indian side at an age of 19 to play against Australia in the fifth test at Madras under the captaincy of Nawab of Pataudi Jr. At first, he was a swing bowler who could bat as well. He batted at 8th position and scored 16 runs in the first inning and duck in the second. But he managed to scalp important wickets of Keith Stackpole and Ian Chappell, both bowled. Still, he couldn’t make a mark on the selectors. He had to wait for almost seven years to play his second international game.
- During that time he played 72 first-class games with his maiden century in his 61st game and 2509 runs at an average of 29.52. He was also a slow medium-pace bowler where he took 29 wickets at 29.39 runs per wicket.
- In his second international game in 1976, he batted decently against New Zealand at Auckland with a brave 64 runs and took important wickets. He took 4 for 63 in the second test at Christchurch which remained his career-best bowling till date. His brother Surinder Amarnath was also impressive with a bat scoring hundred during that series.
- Soon he discovered that he is more of a batter rather than a bowler when the world witnessed Amarnath’s bravura where he scored fighting 85 runs playing at number three against World champion West Indies at Port of Spain. India chased the target of 400 runs with ease. In that series, Michael Holding and Wayne Daniel were at their peaks. Still, he smashed three sixes against them.
- The next series was disappointing against England in 1976-77 at home. Following that series, he scored 445 runs against Australia in five tests led by then the fastest bowler in the world Jeff Thompson at their homeland. One delivery of Jeff Thompson hit Jimmy on his head so badly that he could eat only ice cream at lunch. He ended the series with 86 runs at Adelaide. Though India lost the series 3-2 but he made a mark as their best batter after Viswanath and Gavaskar.
- He was unsuccessful in his next series against Pakistan. Also, he didn’t do much against Alvin Kallicharran’s West Indians at home. He lost his place in the side. Following the knock of 140 runs playing for Northside earned him yet another spot in the final test against the same side. He bounced back strongly by scoring 101 runs with Anshuman Gaekwad and Vishwanath also scoring a hundred taking the score to 644 for 7. India won that series with 1-0.
- In the next series in 1979 for the England tour, Jimmy suffered massive blows on his head. He was out for almost several months due to injury.
- Following that series, Kim Hughes’s led Australian team toured India in the late 1979s. Jimmy this time wore Sola Topee to counter the pace bowling attack. Sola Topee is a hard hat worn by ancient Britishers before. This time again, he suffered the blow from Rodney Hogg’s bowling and the blow from Richard Hadlee in the following series proved disastrous for Jimmy which affected his eye-sight. Following the dismal performance against England and Australia, he had to sit on the bench for a few more years.
- He wasn’t picked for Australia and New Zealand in 1980-81 where Sandeep Patil and Yashpal Sharma made their debut. He even missed the tests against England at home in 1981-82 and India return tour to the side in 1982.
- He was constantly worked hard on his new open-chested stance and certain other factors where he was lacking. He scored 185 runs in the domestic circuit against Karnataka and 207 runs against East Zone in a Duleep Trophy. This followed up with two back-to-back fifties against West Zone in the finals. He also scored 127 runs in Irani Trophy. This opened up his doors again where he was picked for the Pakistan tour in late 1982.
- Against the pace battery of Imran Khan and Sarfraz Nawaz, he showed the glimpse of his father who once ruled the world with his aggressive batting. Where all the other Indian batsmen surrendered, it was Jimmy who stood single-handedly scoring 109 at Lahore, 78 at Faisalabad, 61 and 64 at Hyderabad, 120 in the fifth Test Lahore, and 103 not out at Karachi.
- The saga of valor continued in the succeeding tours as well where he scored 58 and 117 at Port of Spain, 90 and 81 at Bridgetown, and 54 & 116 at St John’s. Though India lost the series 2-0 but Jimmy emerged as a hero. Against mighty Caribbeans, he suffered some bloody blows on his head. He got retired hurt but came fearlessly hooking the ball at all areas.
- His phenomenal and fearless batting earned a remark from batting great Vivian Richards who said that
I have not seen anyone play the Windies pace quartet with the mastery Amarnath demonstrated.”
- Not only this, even Michael Holding couldn’t stop his words which says that
What separated Jimmy from the others was his great ability to withstand pain … A fast bowler knows when a batter is in pain. But Jimmy would stand up and continue.”
- After the successful triumph in the 1983 World Cup, saw the decline in his career where he could only manage 11 runs in two games against visiting Pakistan and only one run in six innings against Caribbeans. He lost his place again in the team. Though, he was named as one of the five Wisden cricketers of 1984.
- In late 1984 when India toured Pakistan, Jimmy scored 101 runs at Lahore and took India out of the jaws of defeat while staying on the crease for more than 400 minutes.
- Jimmy once captained the national side in One-day internationals in Sialkot. As Jimmy was about to bat, suddenly news popped up of then Prime Minister of India Mrs. Indira Gandhi’s assassination. The match was there only called off.
- Later on, he was good with both bat and ball against England at home. Also, he was good scoring 116 runs against Sri Lanka at Kandy in 1986 where India nearly won that match. His good form continued against Australia as well but was criticized for scoring just three runs in 41 minutes where India needed quick runs to win that match. In late 1986, he scored the final century of his Test career (116 runs) against Sri Lanka at Nagpur. This was the only century of his career on the winning side in international cricket.
- This followed up with 89 runs against Pakistan in Madras in 1986-87. He lost the tempo from there on and couldn’t score even a fifty in the next eight tests against Pakistan and West Indies. He suffered huge setbacks against legendary swing bowler Wasim Akram. His final series against West Indies saw the fall of the World Cup hero where he couldn’t do much with the bat and ball.
- Following the controversy where he called the selectors “a bunch of jokers” frustrated with his exclusion from the squad, then he played only one test match in 1988 in Madras against West Indies. Though, he appeared in Sharjah and Nehru Cup in 1989 in an ODIs where he couldn’t do much this time. Thus, ending up a glorifying journey of a champion cricketer who was later acclaimed by a lot of critics.
- He was praised by some of the greats like Imran Khan and Malcolm Marshall for his batsmanship, courage, and ability to bear pains. In his book, “Idol” Sunil Gavaskar describes Mohinder as the finest batter in the world at that time.
- Based on the story of the 1983 Cricket World Cup, a movie named “83” was released where Saqib Saleem portrayed the role of Mohinder Amarnath.
- Post-retirement he coached Bangladesh in the 1990s and the Morrocco Cricket team for a short stint. However, he was sacked from that position when Bangladesh failed to qualify for the 1996 Cricket World Cup. Other than this, he also hosted a show named cricket with” Mohinder Amarnath where he took the interview of master blaster Sachin Tendulkar when he was just 15 years old in 1988. He also turned down an offer to coach the Indian team in 2005 where he was picked among four candidates.
- He shifted to Mumbai in 1991 after spending 20 years in Delhi. Recalling the time he spent in Delhi from his childhood he said
School classes were in tents. We would sit on the ground. It was fun. I remember carrying slates to school. At university, cricket was my priority. It was a great time to live in Delhi. A stroll in Connaught Place was a nice way to spend your time or go to India Gate where you could take a dip in the ponds. I would visit the Connaught place regularly with my parents. I loved their chocolate biscuits and the band, the softy ice cream. Movies at Regal, Shiela, Odeon, Plaza, were not to be missed. Wenger’s was my dad’s favourite. And the milkshake next to Devi Chand’s. We got special treatment there because of dad. That was the time when jukeboxes were introduced in restaurants.”
- Also about time in Mumbai he recalls that
It’s a cosmopolitan city, he feels. “It grows on you. It is a beautiful city to live in. Goa is wonderful too. The sunset is an amazing sight [in Mumbai and Goa]. The beach is less than a kilometre from my house and I just spend the time watching the waves. I must say that Delhi, Mumbai and Goa have been kind to me.”
- He was also superstitious during his tenure in World cricket. He carried a red handkerchief visibly in his hip pocket when he came out to bat.
- He also played a key part in the Bollywood movie “Dishoom” featuring John Abraham and Jacqueline Fernandez alongside which was released on 29 July 2016.