Saturday, December 30, 2017

Unlucky Hoshang 'Hoshie' Amroliwala deserved an India cap: Nari Contractor

Like several of his Parsee contemporaries, Hoshang 'Hoshie' Amroliwala deserved an India cap, but his batting brilliance was seen only for Mumbai in domestic cricket, Parsee Cyclists on the club scene and Tata Sports Club in inter-office cricket.

Amroliwala
Amroliwala

Loss to Mumbai cricket
Mumbai-based Amroliwala, 86, passed away yesterday. Former India captain Nari Contractor, 83, paid Amroliwala the finest tribute when he said he thoroughly deserved to wear India colors and from what he heard, Amroliwala was considered for the 1959 tour of England but missed out probably because there were already several players from Mumbai in the tour party. Contractor, who also toured England that summer, was a Gujarat Ranji Trophy player.

"Hoshie was a performer, but never spoke about his performances. He just performed and forgot about it. But when he didn't fare well, he'd be very down and couldn't help thinking that he had let his team down," Contractor told mid-day yesterday. He added: "In my book, Hoshie was one of the finest batsmen at that time. He was way ahead of others. He would have been an outstanding batsman across all formats in limited overs cricket. He never played in the air and was fantastic with the square cut and pull shot. When he hit firmly, it was a four! Except for Ranji Trophy cricket, we always played in the same team and he was a very good fielder." Amroliwala, according to Contractor, was also a useful leg-spinner whom a captain could always call on.

"He may not get you out, but he'd make you struggle," the former India captain stressed. Contractor remembered how Mumbai's Amroliwala had him caught and bowled for 108 in the inaugural Irani Cup match at Delhi in 1960 when Contractor opened the innings for the Rest of India.

Useful leggie
In fact, Amroliwala went on to claim six for 44. He followed that up with two for 33 in seven overs during Rest's second innings before Mumbai lifted the cup. In 35 Ranji games for Mumbai, Amroliwala scored 1266 runs with two hundred.

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