At last my father’s contribution is recognized: Pranab

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Bipin Dani

Observer Correspondent

Mumbai

Pranab Roy, the son of late Pankaj Roy believes that the name of one of the stands at the Eden Gardens should have been done long time ago.
On Sunday, during India-England final ODI at the Wankhede Stadium, the D block was named after Pankaj Roy. The three other stands Saurav Ganguly (C block), Jagmohan Dalmiya and B.N. Dutt, the former BCCI presidents had their names in K and H blocks.
“At last (he emphasized these words) it was done on Sunday”, the son Pranab Roy, who played two Tests for the country, said exclusively from Kolkatta.
“I wonder why the permission from Army came so late.. I am aware the land where the Club House and the Stadium stand to-day belong to Indian Army. The decision to have my father’s name associated with the stand was taken many years ago by the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and it was frustrating every time I was told the permission is yet to arrive”.
“Though my father was an opening batsman, everything in his life came rather too late or he is denied the opportunity”.
“My dad last played his Test in 1960, but the Padma Shri he received was in 1987”.
Pankaj Roy is best remembered for his first wicket partnership of 413 runs with Vinoo Mankad (against New Zealand at Chennai in 1956). The record stood for 52 years before the same was broken by a South African pair (Neil McCkenise and Graeme Smith against Bangladesh at Chittagong).
Pankaj Roy played 43 Tests for India and unlike to-day, there were no frequent series in those days.
“He played his first Test in 1951 but got the Test captaincy in 1959, i.e. 8 years later and that too was for only one Test”, Pranab Roy added.
“It would have been a happier moment if this (the naming of stand at the Eden Gardens) was done when my father was alive”. (Pankaj Roy died on 4th February 2001). But any how, better late than never. My mother (Bijoya Roy) is 87 now and was very happy when I told this news to her”, Pranab Roy added.
“My mother could not come at the match yesterday but I was present at the match. Saurav Ganguly had invited me to attend the naming ceremony”, he signed off.