Kochi, Oct 3: It was a spectacular celebration of 75 years of Indian Test Cricket as the brightest stars of the game--the past, present and future were in full strength as Castrol honoured the outstanding cricketers who played for the country.
To recognise the cricketers of the last 75 years, the period was divided into six 'eras': 1932-47, 1947-61, 1961-71, 1971-81, 1981-97 and 1997-2006.
While C K Nayadu, known as the 'shahenshah' of Indian cricket was nominated for the first era, Vinoo Mankad, the first Indian to complete the double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in tests, got the award for the period 1947-61. Nayadu's daughter Chandra Nayadu and Mankad's son Atul Mankad received the awards at a function held here last night.
Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, the 'tiger' of Indian cricketer who revolutionised fielding standards and instilled the 'winning' habit into his team was the player for the third period between 1961-1971.
The winners of the next two eras picked themselves--Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev.
Gavaskar, the first batsman to score 10,000 runs and Kapil, the first Indian to take 400 test wickets won the awards for the periods 1971-81 and 1981-97 respectively.
Current Team India players Sachin Tendulkar, who was four-time Castrol Indian Cricketer of the year and Rahul Dravid, who had got the same award for five times, shared the Castrol Award for the last era 1997-2006.
In the function, nine India's Test captains Nari Contractor, Chandu Borde, Ajit Wadekar, Bishen Singh Bedi, Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Vishwanath, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, were honoured.
A special award was also given to the most successful Indian captain Sourav Ganguly.
Mementoes were also presented to T20 World Championship heroes Dinesh Karthick, Rohit Sharma, S Sreesanth and team officials Lalchand Rajput, Venkatesh Prasad and Robin Singh.
Speaking on the occasion, Castrol Managing Director Naveen Kshtriya said, ''It is a great honour and privilege for Castrol to felicitate and recognise thenation's most outstanding cricketers.
These players have provided unprecedented moments of joy to millions of Indian across the globe.''