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One Test wonder Pali holds no grudge against anyone

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 14 (UNI) Though they debuted together in 1964 against the Mike Smith-led England in Mumbai, Rajinder Pal had little in common with Bhagwat Chandrasekhar. ''Pali'' was a pacer while ''Chandra'' revelled in spinning a web around the batsmen.

And future, too had different things in store for them. Despite a polio-withered bowling arm, Chandrasekhar went on to join the illustrious spin quartet while well-built Pal headed for wilderness after the swansong appearance in his debut Test.

And the former pacer ostensibly is at ease with the fact that he never got any chance after that Test.

''Why should I lament that? I got a chance and I could not impress the selectors and my captain. Whom can I blame? I'm perfectly happy with that. I don't have anything against anyone,'' he told UNI.

Dumping a player after giving him just a Test may not sound fair to others but Pali doesn't complain.

''I think I have received a lot from the game. I have captained Delhi, Haryana and Punjab and I don't have any regret,'' said the pacer who was later replaced by Vasant Ranjane in the Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi-led squad.

His friends, however, has another tale to tell.

''It was his spat with Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi which cost him his career,'' claimed one of them.

''Pali was captaining the Delhi Ranji side and Pataudi was playing under him. Pali was a strict disciplinarian and had problems with Pataudi, who later went on to become the Indian captain. Rest is known to all,'' he said.

According to the scoreboard of his only Test, Pal bowled 11 overs in the first innings and two in the second on a Brabourne batting beauty before heading for anonymity. And despite doing well in the domestic tournaments, never got the selectors' nod again.

''So many players have come and gone. Not everyone got a second chance So what's the big deal? I don't regret anything. I'm fit even at this age and is associated with the game. What else you want?'' said the sexagenarian, who has settled in Dehra Dun, searching for and polishing uncut, raw diamonds in his academy.

Not very keen on a flashback of his playing days, Pal said he is enjoying grooming players in his academy.

''Mine is an academy with difference with lodging and boarding facilities. If you are serious with your pursuit, only then you are welcome,'' he said.

UNI AY YA RS1254

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