NEW DELHI: Former India cricketer Dilip Doshi, who played Ranji Trophy for Bengal, hailed late former Indian football team captain Subimal (Chuni) Goswami as the man who brought a “sense of fitness” over from the ‘beautiful game’ to the ‘gentleman’s game.’
Goswami, who led the Indian side to a gold medal in the 1962 Asian Games, also went on to captain Bengal in the Ranji Trophy, including in the 1971-72 final against Mumbai.
Goswami, 82, died last month on April 30.
“Coming from a footballing background, Chuni-da was an extremely fit athlete. Though the trend has changed in recent times, back in those days, footballers were generally far fitter than cricketers. In that sense, Chuni-da brought in that sense of fitness into our cricket team,” the All India Football Federation (AIFF) quoted Doshi, the left-arm spinner, as saying.
Goswami played 46 first-class matches for Bengal, in which he scored 1,592 runs and took 47 wickets.
“He certainly knew what background he was coming from – football. Chuni-da was always a competent cricketer, but what made him stand out was his fighting spirit. He always put a price on his wicket and would keep fighting even in the harshest of conditions, even more than cricketers who were gifted than him. This really inspired us,” said Doshi.
Doshi, who played 33 Tests for India and took 114 wickets, further went on to state that Goswami’s leadership qualities were unparalleled.
“He was an inspiring captain. He could always light up a room with his sense of humour. He had already captained the Indian football team, and his leadership qualities were visible. He also was always open to suggestions from different members. That made him such a great leader,” Doshi maintained.