Roger Michael Humphrey Binny or popularly known as just Roger Binny, is a former flamboyant all-rounder who plied his trade for India in both Tests and limited overs cricket. Tall and athletically built, Binny was an aggressive batsman who could either open the innings or come in the middle order. As a medium-pacer he had the ability to swing the ball both ways.
The Karnataka cricketer was a vital cog for the team back then. He represented India in 27 Tests, took 47 wickets and scored 830 runs. Whereas in the 72 ODIs, he picked 77 wickets and scored 629 runs.
Born on this day in 1955, in Bangalore, Karnataka, Binny was a natural and excelled at multiple sports in his youth. But his interest lied in cricket and he made his first class debut when he was 20. He went to become one of Karnataka’s key players from 1975-76 to 1989-90 seasons. He made his mark by putting on a record unbroken stand of 451-runs for the first wicket with Sanjay Desai in the 1977-78 Ranji Trophy game against Kerala, Binny’s share being an unbeaten 211.
He played in 71 First-Class matches for Karnataka, scoring 4,394 runs which included 12 centuries and 21 fifties. He took 112 wickets with three fifers and best figures of 8/22.
Binny has the distinction of being the first Anglo-Indian player to represent India in the longest format of the game. He achieved this feat when he made his Test debut against Pakistan at his hometown of Bangalore in 1979. Since then he was in and out of the Indian team but whenever he was given a chance, he proved his value.
Binny was capable of rescuing India, as kept taking vital wickets and ended up with a total of 18 in the 1983 World Cup. which was a record then. In the same year, he produced few more memorable performances like his unbeaten 83 in a record 155 run, seventh wicket partnership with Madan Lal against Pakistan which bailed the home side out of trouble at Bangalore. At Ahmedabad, the same year he went on to dismiss Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes and Vivian Richards to cause a stir in the formidable West Indian batting line-up.
However, his swing bowling skills were well suited in countries like England and he backed the fact by taking seven wickets against England at Headingley in 1986. He took a Test career-best 6/56 against Pakistan at Calcutta in 1987. He played his last match against Australia in 1987, which India lost by just one run.
Binny took to coaching and in 2000, coached the Indian U19 team and won the World Cup with them in Sri Lanka in January 2000. In 2007, he was named coach of the Bengal Ranji team and later was part of the Karnataka State Cricket Association management when appointed national selector in September 2012.
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