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The First Amateur Team on the Net !

   In the starting of 1995s, in the venue of Kanathur in east coast road, on a tournament organized by Arun C.C, A cricket team stunned the cricket fans by their outstanding fielding efforts. After that, they proved that they are capable team to challenge any big team in the east coast area of Chennai, from Thiruvanmiyur to Kovalam.  The team called YAZH MASTERS. The name of ‘Yazh’ means the background of the players. All are from Jaffna, the land of the great cricketers. ‘Yazhpanam’ became Yazh and the players call each other by the name of ‘Master’, perfectly fitted to the team. Playing in rubber ball or tennis ball is not a popular one for the high-class people. But it’s very difficult and dangerous too. There are no rules like LBW or leg byes in this rubber ball cricket, and no any protection to the batsman. For the bowlers, they can’t swing or cut the ball as their favour. How ever some people like this type of cricket too. For that kind of cricket fans, who like to watch cricket even on rubber ball, this article would be useful information.

 First lets have a look in the player’s profiles. Yazh masters team have lot of talented players and here we are going to look some of them, who were the stars of the team.

 First one of the senior players of the side, in fact the elder one in the team, is Senathiraja Thevan. Called “Devanna” by other members of the team, Deva is the old student of Jaffna central college, which is one of the famous schools in Jaffna. Deva learnt a lot of cricket in school, and he played for his school in state level. He is the premier batsman in the side. A strong front foot player, he can drive any kind of ball that bowl as a half volley. One of the favourite shot of Deva is lofted drive over the mid off area. Deva is a kind of player who can give a solid contribution in the middle order. When Deva decide to go for a charge in front foot, it would be delighted one to watch. Very casually he will go front as a cat and loft the ball straight over the mid on and definitely it should be a sixer. Deva is the only player in the team who scored a fifty in a 16 over match. He holds another record also. He took five wickets in a 4 over spell of his quota. He is not a regular bowler but when ever need his service he will never allow his team down. Little expensive to compare with others, but Deva can give a break through when it most wanted. With his unpredictable pace of the ball, Deva will upset the batsman and as soon he will loose his wicket. Deva is the backbone of the team, very patient and polite. Only for this character Deva became the captain of the team. So Deva is the strength of middle order in the Yazh masters.

 After the veteran batsman, here we are going to look the ace pace man of the team, he is Mahadev Mukunthan. The fast bowler from Jaffna central college is a keen performer with the ball. He is the most experienced bowler of the team. A genuine fast bowler in cricket ball, Mukunthan never fails in other type of balls also. Captained the school team for a long time, Mukunthan gets a lot of experience from that. He has a lovely arm action, when he starts to run up for his bowling it should be a glorious one to watch. He will run fastly to the crease then a lovely side way jump, and then he will release the ball very fastly to the batsman. Mukunthan is a kind of player who will not concede the extras like wide ball. When a batsman simply throw his bat and smashed every delivery, others will little frustrate, but not Mukunthan. He will use his experience at that time, and show some variation on his bowling and he will control the run rate. When a batsman hit a boundary or sixer on his bowling Mukunthan would not show any expression on his face. But he will show his anger in very next delivery, definitely it should be a bouncer. Naturally an out swing bowler that should keep the slip fielders always busy. Mukunthan is a pure bowler. Even on practice time, he likes to bowl only. When he had a chance to bat, he will dash every thing that he face. In short, Mukunthan is a perfect bowler, of the team.

 Then a player for the fans, who love to watch some thing exiting, Yazhmasters have that kind of player too. He is Arulanantham Ananthaselvan. Called “Selvan” by the team members, this dashy opener has the ability of striking the ball very hard. A strong off side player, he can strike any kind of ball, which bowl in off side. His favorite shot is cut and he can cut the ball very square. When Selvan at the crease, bowlers must be alert. If they couldn’t get his wicket early, it would be a nightmare to them. Selvan is a kind of player who believes the policy of “hit out or get out”. He will not try to play the orthodox, textbook shots, always try to do some thing different and score runs. A fine user of his feet, Selvan always does it very casually and hit some huge sixes. An attacking player he was, cricket comes from the gene to selvan. His father Arulanantham was a fine all rounder on his days. His elder brother Arudchelvan was the former captain of Jaffna Stanley College and a fiery fast bowler too. So, cricket comes very naturally from the blood to Selvan and he will not allow the team to get down. He became the match winner for Yazh masters. He can bowl some leg break and also fast bowling. In some occasion, he was keeping the wickets too. A useful cricketer and Selvan is a consistent performer with the bat. Some body will think that his batting would be a fluke, but his consistent will prove that he is a genuine batsman. He is the leading run scorer of the team. So, the opponent bowlers should keep an eye on this fellow.

 Then, there is an all rounder who always reliable in the team is, Kuppusamy Vishnubalan alias Jegan. He started his career as a bowler then develops his batting quite nicely. Now he is a dependable batsman by the team. Jegan may not have the pshycally fitted body for fast bowling, very lean and not a great tall, but he has the ability of swinging the ball is quite marvelous. He can swing any kind of ball on any kind of surface. He has lot of weapons in his armory and one of his favorite deliveries is out swinger. He can bowl out swingers in any situation, and he claims more of the wickets by this delivery. Jegan accept Glenn McGrath, the great Aussie fast bowler as his idol of cricket and his action also quite familiar with McGrath. Jegan never fails to claim wickets on the initial stage of the game. He always gives a breakthrough in the opening spell of his quota. That’s why he is the opening bowler of Yazhmasters. An apt foil to Mukunthan, and he makes the opening batsmen to play shots by his teasing off line bowling, and took the wickets. In batting, Jegan is a fine low order batsman. Always playing under the pressure, Jegan is a cool customer. He never shows the tension on his face, always playing positive cricket. Not a slow starter, very soon he will find his rhythm and start to score runs. Jegan is a great puller of the ball, any thing short on any side, it would be a feast to him and he will pull it over the mid wicket region. He plays positive cricket always and he is the hidden performer of the team.

 After the reliable Jegan, Yazhmasters have another talented all rounder, infact the youngest one of the team, he is Natarajah Dhayanantha. This name will make a smile on the face of Yazhmasters. Yes! He is the action hero of the team. Dhayanantha is a boosting secret of the team, always appreciate others by his encouraging words-“come on machaan”, he is an out standing fielder. Like the electrifying South African Jonty Rhodes, Dhaya also never deny to dive and stop the ball. He took some breathtaking catches and it won matches. His flexibility is unbelievable. His throws are very sharp and accurate too. In batting, Dhaya is an aggressive batsman. He is the student of Jaffna Stanley College, and he started to play cricket in the age of 10. From that, he learnt a lot from his school. A stylish shot maker and he can play any kind of shot. Pull, cut, drive or loft Dhaya will do it with style. When he found his rhythm once, then no body can stop him.  The slim, tall youngster is a fiery fast bowler too. Dhayas bowling is a more interesting one to watch. Very fast on his running and bowling, Dhayas approach is quite menacing. Always bowling very fastly and sharply, Dhaya can bowl some pacy short deliveries and it would certainly upset the batsman and make him to play hook shot, as the result, the batsman will out by caught. Dhaya is a strong believer of playing cricket in mentally also. When a batsman start to playing positive cricket, and hit some boundaries on his bowling, Dhaya will get angry and he will show it by some fastest bouncers. He will come front to batsman and scare him and tease him by his challenging, irritating words. By these mental pressures, batsman will loose his cool and as soon he will loose wicket too. So, this young angry man is an interesting personality to watch.

 Then, here comes the complete batsman of the team. He is N.Vimalkumar.  Vimal is the genuine performer with the bat, and this old student from Jaffna central college, has tremendous ability of playing shot in any kind of pitches and any kind of ball. Nick named ‘Commander’ by the teammates; Vimal is an excellent stroke maker. Front foot or back foot, he loves to play scoring shots. A very solid defense, and sound technique makes this man a consistent batsman. When the wickets fell cheaply in the start of the game, mountain pressure to batsman, others will struggle but not Vimal. He will drop anchor in one side, and score runs in a cool manner. A real match winner for the team, Vimal is a polite player. Always calm and humble. Vimal using his wrist quite beautifully and score runs. One of his favorite shot is the on drive. He plays it very sweetly. Like others, Vimal would not cross the stumps by his body. Always stand well out of stumps, it looks pretty unordinary. But when the ball release from the hand of the bowler, he will study it early and face it confidently. A good timer of the ball, Vimal can exhilarate the run rate in any situation. That would be fine exhibition when he lofts the ball to sixer.  He never loves to bowl even on practice time, that makes him a complete batsman. A calm, cool player of the team. But, don’t estimate him cheaply. He is the most dangerous player to get out.

 After the elegant Vimal, we are going to look another senior player of the side, he is Nataraja Dhayalan. This classic batsman is the elder brother of Dhayanantha. Very talented, and stylish too. Dhayalan is a great player of pull shots; he can pull any kind of short delivery. A strong on side player and drives the ball very hard. Not like his brother Dhayanantha, Dhayalan is a calm type player. Always very silent in the field, and when he at the crease, he will not bother that what kind of bowler going to bowl him. A sweet timer of the ball, Dhayalan can push the ball in to the gaps and keep the scoreboard moving. One of his favourite shots is the glance. He can glance any leg side delivery and it would be a classical one to watch. In bowling, Dhayalan is not a fast bowler. Always bowling a medium pace bowling and his greatest ability is accuracy. Very good line and length and it will never allow the batsman to score freely. A useful player and a fine fielder too. So, this experienced player will add some strength in batting and bowling.

 Then, here are some players of the team who have lot of talents with them. Mahadev Sudharsan, a fine batsman from Jaffna central college and younger brother of the pace ace Mukunthan. Very solid and sincere batsman. Occasional wicket keeper too. Good driver on front foot and a stylish stroke maker. Not like his brother, Sudharsan had solid technique. He doesn’t like to play silly shots, always like to play stylish drives and they are really fantastic to watch. A frontline batsman, and he can give the team a solid start. 

Arulanantham Bharanitharan alias Jaya. The lone left-hander of the team and a strong off side player. Very specialist in cutting the ball. Jaya is the old student of famous Hartley College in Point Pedro, Jaffna. An old player in the team, Jaya not a lazy in field. A keen player to score runs. Jaya is a frontline batsman and when he cut loose it would be a blasting exhibition to watch.

 Somasundaram Mahintharajan alias Mahinda. He is a growing fast bowler of the team. This tall, lean youngster from Drieberg College in Chavakacheri, Jaffna. A dashy batsman and talented bowler have a bright future. Very keen to learn and he absorb the tips from the elders very quickly.

 Then the twins of the side, Ariyaratnam Parthipan and Pratheepan. Both of them were fast bowlers. And they were good batsmen too. These youngsters will add some enthusiasm to team.

 So, these are the profiles of the players. Yazhmasters may not a great team. But, their attitude of challenge is quite impressive. Are you ready to play against them?


K. Jayabalan The Cricket Crazy.