New Delhi: The BCCI on Saturday announced former batsman Gundappa Vishwanath as winner of the CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award for 2007-08.
Presently the batting coach at the National Cricket Academy, Vishwanath will receive the honour at the BCCI Awards ceremony to be held in Mumbai on February 18.
The award comprises a trophy, citation, and a cheque of Rs 15 lakh.
Vishwanath shot into prominence with a double-century on his first-class debut for Mysore in 1967-68. Picked in the Indian side in the Kanpur Test of the 1969-70 series against Australia, Vishwanath got a duck in the first innings, but made up with a magnificent 137 in the second.
Three years later, the little genius broke an Indian jinx, by becoming the first Indian debut centurion to score another Test hundred.
He was at his best in the 1974-75 series against the West Indies, wherein his 139 in the third Test at Kolkata and unbeaten 97 in the fourth at Chennai enabled India to level the series after being 0-2 down at one point.
Subsequent years saw Vishwanath marshal India's successful pursuit of a target of 406 against the West Indies at Port of Spain (1975-76), and then score a match-winning 124 against the same team on a brutish pitch at Chennai (1978-79).
His 114 against Australia at Melbourne in 1980-81 set up a series-levelling win for his team.
Each of Vishwanath's fourteen Test hundreds either took India to a victory or an honourable draw. He won admirers the world over with his penchant for producing epic efforts in crisis situations. He was as much an epitome of sportsman-spirit as he was one of graceful batsmanship.
His gesture as India's captain to recall England's Bob Taylor in the Jubilee Test in 1979-80, despite the latter having been declared out, is remembered to even this day.
Vishwanath represented India in 91 Tests from 1969-70 to 1982-83. He scored 6,080 runs at an average of 42. His highest individual score was 222 against England at Chennai in 1981-82.
He served as vice-president of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) and had a stint as chairman of the National Selection Committee from 1992-93 to 1995-96.
His tenure witnessed the Test debuts of two future India captains Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. He went on to become an ICC match referee.
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