Mannava Srikanth Prasad, popularly known as MSK Prasad, made it to the Indian national after playing for one of the weaker state sides (Andhra Pradesh) and coming through the ranks on merit. Born on this day in 1975, the dapper cricketer from Guntur was interested in wicket keeping from a very early age. Working himself up from the state junior’s team to the Ranji Trophy squad, he made to the India A team.
Prasad came into national reckoning on the India A tour of Pakistan in 1997-98. He kept improving with the bat and before the season was out, he had made his international debut for the senior squad in one-day games. Prasad made his ODI debut against Bangladesh at Mohali, in 1998. The following year, the injury of Nayan Mongia gave Prasad a big chance and he made Test debut against New Zealand at the same venue. He was preferred to Mongia even after the latter was fit and got selected for the Australian tour. However, due to poor show with the bat, he was eventually dropped, and it led to the demise of his career.
The wicketkeeper-batsman represented India in six Tests, scored 106 runs, while in 17 ODIs, he scored 131 runs. However, his best came in the domestic format, he played in 96 matches and scored 4,021 runs with a sole half-century in the process. In the 2002-03 season, he scored 754 runs that included two centuries and five half-centuries and effected 32 dismissals from 11 matches. He continued to play in the Ranji Trophy for seven more seasons and led his team in what would be his last domestic season (2006-07).
Six years after his final first-class game, Prasad was inducted into the panel of selectors as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selection committee South Zone head. The following year, he took over from Sandeep Patil to become the head of the three-member BCCI selection panel.
As the former cricketer turns a year older, here’s a look at some of his lesser facts:
• Prasad is one of the few Indian cricketers to have made their Test and ODI debut at the same venue (Mohali).
• He had just 15 and 14 caught behind dismissals in Tests and ODIs.
• Prasad shone in the domestic circuit – in first-class cricket he had 239 caught behind dismissals, 27 stumpings. While 87 catches and 29 stumpings in List-A matches.
• He scored 754 runs in the domestic season of 2002-03, which is his highest.
• Prasad made more news as a selector than a player. He came under a lot of scrutiny for his panel’s lack of international cricket experience.
• However, he formed a good rapport with skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri. It resulted in one of most successful phases of Indian cricket on the field.
• During his tenure, Team India picked good squads for the 2017 Champions Trophy, 2018 tour of England, 2018-19 tour of Australia and the 2019 World Cup.
• Many of these tours and high-profile tournaments were played without a glitch and major controversy.
• Prasad finished his four-year term in February 2020.