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Tour Diary: Perfect blend of biryani and cricket

  • Published at 08:51 pm February 14th, 2017
  • Last updated at 09:33 pm February 14th, 2017
Tour Diary: Perfect blend of biryani and cricket
And if it happens that you have interest in cricket, be sure to listen to the stories of its rich cricket culture, dated as far back as the time when the Nawabs were in the royal seats. It is this city, located in the southern part of India and capital of the Telangana state, that has produced greats like VVS Laxman, Mohammad Azharuddin and the country's first ever captain, CK Nayudu. People here are scared of the city traffic and it is quite interesting how they plan their daily movement during the peak and off-peak hours. But if you are coming from Dhaka, you will probably laugh over it. It is nothing compared to the craze that one deals daily in the Bangladesh capital. For tourists, it is never tough to find local assistance as they make every possible suggestion to make your stay here comfortable. But when it comes to talking about cricket, former Hyderabad first-class player and India's 1983 World Cup winning manager PR Man Singh is the best possible choice. Perhaps it is his passion towards the game that makes him stand out among all the story-tellers here. For your information, everyone has a story to tell in Hyderabad, better if it is over a cup of its famous Irani tea. [caption id="attachment_46796" align="aligncenter" width="900"] Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell Test jersey DHAKA TRIBUNE[/caption] Man Singh, almost in his 80s, is a collector of cricket memorabilia and a narrator of fascinating tales. On weekdays, one can find him in his small office space at the back of his liquor store in Secunderabad, but his real treasure lies within his mind and his two-storied duplex home. Man Singh has named his home “The Pavilion”, for obvious reasons. The top floor of the house is where he keeps all his cricketing riches – books, crests, photos, framed scorecards, autographed bats, balls and jerseys and cricket souvenirs - from all around the world. The list is endless. [caption id="attachment_46795" align="aligncenter" width="900"] The Pavilion – home of PR Man Singh and his private cricket museum on India and Hyderabad cricket DHAKA TRIBUNE[/caption] This correspondent was elated when he found out a memento from Mymensingh District Sports Association, the district where Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah hails from. Vikram Man Singh, son of Man Singh, who was guiding the guests through the room of history, could not exactly date out the year but it was surely from one of those times when a Hyderabad team had visited Bangladesh. Hyderabad’s association with Bangladesh cricket goes back to the late 1970s when a Hyderabad Blues team visited the war-torn country. Bangladesh drew inspiration from this, a country which was then non-existent in the world cricket map. The bonding got stronger over the next few years as both teams hosted each other. But as the game developed in India, especially after winning the 1983 World Cup, it was hard for Hyderabad to maintain bilateral ties with Bangladesh cricket. It was getting tough for its cricketers to be a part of this unconditional bonding as the game was well on its to being commercialised. The relation eventually worn out and a thick layer of dust settled around it, much like the Mymensigh DSA memento back at Man Singh’s museum. [caption id="attachment_46843" align="aligncenter" width="900"] The library DHAKA TRIBUNE[/caption] Since last year however, both Bangladesh cricket and Hyderabad reignited the lost connection through Bangladesh left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman, who was a key part of Sunrisers Hyderabad's IPL winning campaign. The Hyderabad franchise owners are from a different city from the south but for Hyderabadis, it is their own team and Mustafiz is their “Nawab of Pace”. And the one-off Test match at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium between host India and visiting Bangladesh will only strengthen the relation.