Madan Lal Biography
Madan Lal is a former Indian cricket player who played international cricket from 1974 to 1987. He was born on 20 March 1951 in Amritsar, Punjab and was an all-round cricketer who would bowl and bat using his right hand.
He played 39 tests and 67 ODIs for India in his career span. Later, he became the coach of Indian cricket team from September 1996 to September 1997. He also served as one of the members of the selection committee from 2000 to 2001.
His best time came when he became part of the Indian world cup winning squad in 1983. One of the interesting facts about him is that Madan Lal bowled the first ball of World Cup in 1975.
Madan Lal had an ebullient first-class record which forced the selectors to give him a chance at the international arena. He was a medium-pacer with a round arm action and a no mug with the bat.
In his early days, he helped India pull off an 85 run victory at the Eden Gardens against the mighty West Indies.
Madan Lal made his Test debut against England at Manchester in June, 1974. It was a debut that Madan Lal would surely like to forget as he only took 2 wickets and scored 9 runs in India’s 113 run loss.
Things couldn’t get any worse, as he remained wicketless in the next Test at Lord’s where India suffered an innings defeat. Despite his poor performance, selectors kept their faith in him for the series against West Indies where he proved his worth.
Rise to glory
During the winters of 1974, the West Indies toured India. Madan Lal scored 48 with 10 boundaries in the first innings of the first test at Eden Gardens and pushed the West Indies further back with an incredible bowling performance of 4/22 which nursed India to a 85 runs win.
He had an on and off career of 39 tests where he took 71 wickets and scored 1042 runs.
As far his ODI career is concerned, his peak time came during the 1983 World Cup. He dismissed Desmond Haynes, Vivian Richards and Larry Gomes in his magical spell in the final.
His spell came when West Indies were at 1/50 chasing a target of 183, inclining the match in India’s favour.
Apart from his bowling, he also had some vital contributions with the bat down the order. He scored 74 and added 155 runs with Roger Binny when India were struggling at 6/85 against Pakistan in 1983 at Bangalore.
Despite being a legendary first class player, he couldn’t bring his performance on the international stage with full colours. He was a kind of player who never became the best of the team in spite of some excellent skills both with bat and ball. This is reflected in his tally of just 39 tests in a span of 12 years.
Madan Lal became the coach of the United Arab Emirates team for the 1996 ICC Cricket World Cup and the coach of the Indian team for a short period in 1996. He was also appointed the coach of Delhi Giants in the now-inoperative Indian Cricket League.
Madan Lal played his last Test in June 1986 against Pakistan. His last ODI came in March 1987 against England.