Know Your Metropolis: Tucked within the bylanes of Pune is the PYC Hindu Gymkhana, a cornerstone of Indian cricket

Greater than a century in the past, ‘The Bombay Chronicle’ every day revealed a narrative of a cricket match held in Pune, then Poona, PYC Hindu Gymkhana versus Deccan Gymkhana. The previous gained the match by 67 runs at their residence floor, with then 28-year-old D B Deodhar scoring 59 runs. Whereas Poona Younger Cricketers’ (PYC) Gymkhana made a good-looking 140, their correct bowling, splendid fielding and noteworthy teamwork secured them the win that June day in 1920.

Time and seasons have modified however the staff spirit among the many cricketers of PYC Hindu Gymkhana stays unchanged. An identical dedication and keenness can nonetheless be seen within the eyes of the younger cricketers practising on the PYC Gymkhana grounds day by day.

Situated on Bhandarkar Street, the PYC Gymkhana in the present day is a coaching turf for a number of sports activities and continues to churn out worldwide and national-level sportspersons. Additionally it is among the many few gymkhanas which have a standing among the many cricket golf equipment within the nation.

A ‘blessed’ pitch

“It began within the yr 1900 when just a few younger and enthusiastic cricketers shaped ‘Poona Younger Cricketers’ Hindu Gymkhana’, a membership for selling cricket and different sports activities. Within the early years, the Late Bapat Guruji from Hujurpaga College rendered yeoman’s service in facilitating fundamental sports activities like Wrestling, Mallkhamb, Hockey and Cricket,” reads the official PYC Gymkhana web site.

“On the time, Poona had a handful of sports activities golf equipment run by the British. For Indians to develop on this planet of sports activities, the scope was very restricted. The PYC Gymkhana is without doubt one of the golf equipment that pioneered in creating an area for Indian sportspersons within the adolescence of their sports activities profession. The title, many consider, is as a result of the gymkhana was particularly for Indian gamers,” stated Vinayak Dravid, cricket secretary at PYC Gymkhana.

Vinchurkar Pavilion (PYC Gymkhana)

By 1906, a hanging pavilion was erected after the membership obtained aegis from Sardar Vinchurkar and was named after him. The primary council of the PYC Gymkhana was shaped with members V B Bapat, V H Barve, N L Samel, S V Bapa, Prof S S Godbole, M Ok Agashe, Prof V G Kale, L B Bhopatkar and S Ok Godbole. Inside 4 years, cricket actions started on the PYC grounds.

The Grand Previous Man of Indian Cricket, D B Deodhar performed an instrumental position in moulding and establishing the cricket ecosystem of the membership. The membership has produced first-class distinguished cricketers like Kedar Jadhav, Devika Vaidya, Rajendra Bhalekar, Hemant Kinikar, Sham Oak, Makarand Dixit, Hemant Tadwalkar, U-19 World Cup participant Siddhesh Veer and nationwide selector Surendra Bhave amongst others.

The gymkhana can be the alma mater of cricketers Indrajeet Kamtekar, PYC’s girls’s coach, PYC males’s coach Niranjan Godbole, Satish Pendnekar, Madhav Ranade, Suresh Dhumke, Vishwas Gore, Vishwas Deshmukh, Avinash Ranade, Prasad Pradhan, Balchandra Joglekar and Madhu Gupte.

“There are numerous tales which can be connected to this cricket subject…One of many tales is when legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar sought steering from one of many main coaches in India, Kamal Bhandarkar, when he was going by means of a tough patch in his cricket profession. It’s on these very grounds that Gavaskar’s strategies had been corrected and he later scored these record-breaking centuries after. The pitch itself may be very blessed, in that sense,” stated Niranjan Godbole.

Dravid added that not solely has the gymkhana, with its world-class facilities, moulded cricketers by means of the years, it has additionally produced well-trained coaches. “Gifted people are handpicked to endure a rigorous course of to change into the coaches that the gamers want…We have now about 19 coaches, 4 of them former first-class cricketers and several other level-2 coaches. It’s all in the perfect curiosity of the sportspersons working in the direction of a profession in cricket,” Dravid stated.

DB Dheodar (PYC Gymkhana)

Constructing a brotherhood

PYC Gymkhana, aside from being identified for its contribution to sports activities improvement within the metropolis, can be widespread for its cultural calendar. Nevertheless, PYC is most distinguished for its membership satisfaction and the competitors it shares with fellow golf equipment in Pune metropolis.

“It will need to have been 1985-86 and it was the Bajirao Trophy. It was a restricted overs finals match right here at PYC Gymkhana. The opponent Vilas Membership had a really robust staff, 50 per cent of their gamers had performed within the Ranji. Some noteworthy names within the staff had been Riaz Husein Poonawala, Vinayak Khedkar, Sunil Gudge, and Vijay Bhagwan Shetty. PYC had been all out with about 120-odd runs, and in the course of the break, the discussions had been about how Vilas Membership will certainly win with such a sturdy staff,” recalled Dravid. But, PYC gained the sport with 15 runs as Vilas Membership was all out with 110 runs.

“We couldn’t get sufficient runs however what we may do was display splendid fielding with correct bowling. The match is etched in my reminiscence as PYC cricket has all the time been identified for its teamwork. The sort of staff spirit that we introduced on the sector, the satisfaction and keenness that got here as soon as the gamers donned the PYC jersey, it constructed a brotherhood that has lasted over 4 to 5 a long time for a lot of,” added Dravid.

The membership additionally organises trailblazing cricket tournaments yearly. Over time, the tournaments have supplied choice committees the chance to handpick cricketers for state, nationwide and worldwide groups. The Mandke Trophy began by Deodhar, the Late Raju Bhalekar Trophy, the PYC Challenger Trophy and the PYC Premier League (tennis ball event) are among the many premium tournaments hosted by the PYC Gymkhana in the present day. “The tournaments, aside from giving the precise platform for gamers, additionally assist the choice staff scout for proficient gamers,” stated Dravid.

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