Sunil Kumar needs no formal introduction. If you are from Eastern states and a lover of cricket you would have known Sunil Kumar. Sunil Kumar was born on 18th feb 1971 in Bihar. He played domestic cricket from 1983 till 2005. He started his career as wicket keeper batsman. He used to open the innings for all the teams he played for.
Crickethighlights.com caught with Sunil Kumar for a brief Interview about his journey to represent Bihar Ranji Trophy as “Captain” . We are really privileged to get Mr Kumar to agree to an an exclusive interview with CricketHighlights.com
Crickethighlights.com: Name all the teams you have played for.
Sunil Kumar : Given below is the list of teams I have played for
- Kedia XI (B division), MCC (A division), YMCC (A Division), Vanijya MahaVidyala (A division)
- PESU (A Division), TATAT Collieries (A Division), SBI (A Division).
- Bihar Ranji Trophy, Rest of India U-19, East Zone U-19, East Zone U-17, East Zone U-15, Bihar State Team U-15 and U-17, Patna Distt Senior team, Patna Distt Junior Team.
I also represented an English county club named the “Sandwich town club” in the Kent League, from 1998 to 2002.
Crickethighlights.com: Can you tell us a bit more about the positions you played as
Sunil Kumar : I played as captain of the following team.
- Bihar Ranji team,
- Rest of India u-19,
- East Zone u-19,
- East Zone u-15,
- Bihar State team u-17,
- Bihar State team u-15,
- Patna Distt. Senior team and
- Patna Distt, Junior team.
And as Vice –Captain I played for Rest of India u-19 and East Zone u-17 teams.
Crickethighlights.com: Wow that is very impressive. I am sure you must have played in several tournaments. Can you name some of them.
Sunil Kumar : I have played in following tournaments at domestic level.
- East zone U-15 from 1984-85.
- Shayamal Sinha Trophy from 1985 to 2006 (Patna Junior Division).
- Hayman cup from 1985 to 2006 (Patna Senior Division)
- Vijay Hajare trophy from 1983-84 and 1984-85 (East Zone U-15).
- Vijay Hajare trophy from 1985-86 and 1986-87 (East Zone U-17).
- Cooch Behar Trophy from 1987-88 and 1988-89. (Bihar State team).
- M.A Chidambram trophy from 1987-88 and 1988-89 (Rest of India u-19)
- C.K Naidu Trophy from 1987-88 and 1988-89 (East Zone U-19)
- Duleep trophy in the year 1992.
- Ranji trophy from 1989 to 2002.
- Deodhar Trophy in the year 1992,1999 and 2000
- Kent League from 1998 to 2002 (Sandwich Town club).
I was a member of the East zone team when they became the “CHAMPIONS” for the first time. I played as an opening batsman.
Crickethighlights.com: That is really impressive. How did you get into the Bihar Ranji Team? And can you describe your journey from a young cricketer to a Ranji trophy player?
Sunil Kumar : I worked very hard to get into Bihar ranji trophy team. Before getting into the Ranji team I performed very well in all the junior tournaments. My last 5 innings score were as under.
- 116 Against Central Zone playing for East Zone U-19.
- 67 & 74 against Orissa for Bihar Team U-19.
- 120 against West Zone for East Zone U-19
- I scored 234 against North Zone for Rest of India U-19.
I backed my hard work with good performance on the cricket pitch and as a reward I got into Bihar ranji team in the year 1989. It was lovely to be a part of Bihar ranji team. I also captained the Bihar Ranji team. I even played for Jharkhand state team for the year 2004-05.
Crickethighlights.com: What challenges you faced while getting into Bihar Team?
Sunil Kumar : Well it was a very difficult and hard working journey. I had to compete with the Ranji team players and also with other players who were trying to get into Ranji team, so I have to perform in all the matches to get into Ranji team, and I did the same. I let my performance speak about my capacity as a cricketer.
Crickethighlights.com: Since how long you have being playing cricket?
Sunil Kumar : I have been playing cricket since 1980 till 2005. I still play corporate cricket for my bank.
Crickethighlights.com: How has DLF IPL changed the domestic level cricket?
Sunil Kumar : IPL has not changed anything at domestic level, except that it gives monetary satisfaction to the cricketers. IPL has made his mark internationally. Now it has become one of the most popular cricket tournaments of the world, as IPL invite players from all test playing nation to play IPL Franchises. It gives a learning platform to players from domestic level in India.
Crickethighlights.com: What advice you have for Bihar cricket associations and other cricketing bodies to harness the pool of talents which goes unnoticed in domestic level due to lack of infrastructure?
Sunil Kumar : I think the people in any association should think about developing better infrastructure, and provide better atmosphere to the player to excel in the game of cricket. Association should think of improving performance of players and standard of cricket rather than think of their chair.
Crickethighlights.com: Advice for young generation cricketers?
Sunil Kumar : I will just tell the young generation to work hard, hard and hard. If anyone wants to be a successful cricketer, they need to set the goal and work accordingly to achieve them in a focus way. The Young cricketers should have self belief, determination and willingly to work hard in them.
Crickethighlights.com: What was your practice schedule?
Sunil Kumar : I used to work very hard. My day use to start in 5 in the morning, winters or summer I was on the cricket ground at 5 in the morning for my training. I used to train for 4 to 5 hrs in morning, then in afternoon at 2 I used to be back on the cricket ground for another 4 to 5 hrs of training.
Crickethighlights.com: What are you favorite locker room memories?
Sunil Kumar : About 14 year back I was playing in Ranji Trophy match against Assam, at the end of days play on the 2nd day, I was headed towards the pavilion, as a not out batsman. When I reached the dressing room, all the players and staff from team management started wishing me “HAPPY BIRTHDAY”. They had got a cake and they asked me to cut the cake and celebrate my Birthday. This was my favorite and most memorable incident of locker room, because I never used to celebrate my birthday before, and my team mates made be realize that today is 18th feb and it is my birthday.
Crickethighlights.com: What are you favorite on-field memories?
Sunil Kumar : I was playing for Rest of India (under 19) as a Captain; we were playing against North Zone (Under-19) team at Firoz Sah Kotla cricket ground at Delhi. It was three day game; we won the toss and chose to bat. I was batting at 199 and last over of the day was on, I could not get run in 5 balls and got very nervous, on the 6th ball I defended the ball and scampered for a single, it was a close call, but luckily I was home and got my double hundred.
Crickethighlights.com: Most memorable match? Why it is most memorable match?
Sunil Kumar : There are many memorable matches which I took part in, but I think the Deadhar Trophy match in 1992-93 seasons between East Zone vs North Zone was most memorable for me. East zone team won the Deadhar trophy for the first time ever, and I was playing as an opening batsman for East Zone team.
Crickethighlights.com: A player who hasn’t got his due?
Sunil Kumar : No comments…..
Crickethighlights.com: What can be done to produce better bowlers?
Sunil Kumar : This is a very important question for future of Indian cricket. We have seen in recent concluded test match series against England, that our bowlers were not match fit to sustain 5 days of a test match. BCCI should think about it seriously and come out with plan to produce better and fitter fast and spin bowlers. They should pick at least 15 bowlers (fast and spin) from domestic tournaments like u-19, 22, and Ranji trophy. After picking the bowlers they should send them to NCA and train them under proper guidance, groom them, give then proper wickets, motivate them to work hard on their skills and fitness. Give them lots of match practice.
If all the above steps are taken then I see no reason not to produce good and match winning bowlers.
Crickethighlights.com: What challenges did you face for team selection?
Sunil Kumar : Once you start playing professional cricket, you have to face challenges on every step, and you can just see off those challenges by performing on every platform. I did the same. To reach the top I made small goals and work very hard on achieving them.
Crickethighlights.com: How will it be to have someone like Laloo as the chairman of BCCI?
Sunil Kumar : Well it is very difficult to comment on what would have happened. I cannot predict the future, but this is for sure Sir. Laloo Prasad had no interest in cricket or promoting cricket. He could not do anything to develop cricket in our country. If you look at his efforts as a president of BCA, you will find that he could not do anything for cricket in Bihar. It took eight long years to get affiliation, and what we got Associate membership in which our team cannot play Ranji trophy. When he became president of BCA in the year 2000, he was one of the most powerful politician in the country, still he could not do anything for BCA. I think position like BCA president should not be given to any politicians; it should be given to people who have played cricket at first class level or international level from that state
Crickethighlights.com: Which format of the game cricket really tests the talent of a player? Answer in descending order.
Sunil Kumar : Test cricket is the real format to test the skill and temperament, concentration and mental toughness of a cricketer. T20 and One day International is okie, but Test cricket is the real test for cricketers, and I think more test cricket should be played around the world.
Crickethighlights.com: What you think of Sachin Tendulkar? Who was better Lara or Tendulakar.
No doubts Sachin Tendulkar is the best batsman of all time, getting over 30,000 runs, including 99 centuries in both forms of game, speaks volume about Sachin Tendulkar as a batsman. He has played with same commitment and passion for last 21 years.
Sunil Kumar : Lara was also good, but Sachin is best. Lara has performed brilliantly on both forms of the game, and no one can forget his marathon innings of 400 runs in a test match.
Crickethighlights.com: According to you who is the best bowler in world all time and in present time?
Sunil Kumar : It is very difficult to decide the all time great bowler when you look down the list of legendary bowlers. You have greats like Lillee, Thomson, Andy Roberts, Michael Holdings, Joel Garner, Malcom Marshal, Bob Willis, Glenn Mcgrath, Wasim Akram, Imran Khan, Richard Hadlee, Allan Donald and spinners like Shane Warne, Anil Kumble, Murlitharan. But I pick Malcom Marshal as my all time favorite fast bowler, and Shane warne as my all time favorite Spinner.
In present day Dale Steyn if my favorite fast Bowler and Daniel Vettori is my favorite spinner.
If the policy of BCCI would have been right and BCCI would not be just picking players from Mumbai and south then Sunil Kumar would have defiantly represented the country in all format of the game cricket. In no way he is less than our current captain Mahender Singh Dhoni.
More about Sunil Kumar and his cricketing career.