Former left-arm spin bowler Rajinder Goel (pictured right), who is one of the two recipients of the Col. C. K. Nayudu Life Time Achievement Award has exclusively shared a letter he had received from a dacoit from the Gwalior prison some 30 years back.The prisoner in the letter has praised bowler’s splendid record in the Ranji Trophy.
“Humsri aapko Ranji Trophy 600 se adhik wicket lene ki khushi me badhai svikrut ho (Kindly accept my congratulation for grabbing more than 600 wickets in the Ranji Trophy)”.
“Hum aapke bahut prashansak hokar yeh patra vyavhar kar rahe hai aur bhavishya ki kamna karte hai ki ishwar aapko din prati din saflata dilvaye (I am your fan and may FGod bless you more success in life”, the letter dt. 8th April, 1985) written by dacoit Bhura Singh Yadav was sent from Central Jail, Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh).
“There was no courier service then and I went to Delhi to play a match and all my family members were frightened when they received this letter in post”.
“Now this dacoit has known our address and will demand money”, the family was worried.
“I was not worried but happy to get this letter. I sent a reply and my photograph as was my practice then to reply to all my fans with my photo. I thanked him and urged him to be a nice man”, Goel added.
“I saw this dacoit on TV some 3-4 years back. Don’t know whether he is still alive now”.
“I have preserved this 3-decade old letter. I was not liked by the selectors, but yes, dacoit liked me”, Goel jokingly added.