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N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.
HYDERABAD: Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy, newly sworn-in Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, almost played Ranji Trophy for Hyderabad in the early 80s.
He was an efficient wicketkeeper-batsman who even led the State under-22 team which had in its ranks the likes of former India captain Mohd. Azharuddin and Anant Vatsalya.
But due to various reasons Kiran Kumar Reddy missed the opportunity and after that he never really showed the same interest in the sport.
However, when N. Shivlal Yadav, now BCCI Vice-President, and D.S. Chalapathi, HCA Secretary, requested him to be nominated as HCA vice-president for the first time in 2006 he did not say no, because of his passion for the sport.
Interestingly, Chalapathi recalls that Kiran Kumar even attended the Hemu Adhikari national camp for promising cricketers in the early 80s.
“One thing which has never changed is his modesty and affable nature. Even when he was the Speaker of the AP Legislative Assembly he showed the same warmth and affection he used to show as a player to the seniors,” recalls Shivlal.
Former India leg-spinner M.V. Narasimha Rao (now in the City), recalls the days when Kiran Kumar Reddy's parents were worried about their young son going to Australia with the Blues team.
“He was my roommate. A very humble, disciplined boy who was a very good wicketkeeper-batsman,” said Rao.
Azharuddin recalls that he played his first Test against England in 1985 with the kit presented by Kiran Kumar Reddy.
“Those were the days when sponsorships were not a big thing unlike now. I was really touched by his gesture and I always enjoyed playing with him for Nizam College,” Azharuddin said recently about his former Hyderabad under-22 captain.
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