Syed Kirmani

Syed Kirmani

Player Bio

Syed Kirmani has left an indelible mark on the pages of cricket history as a wicketkeeper, especially in India. With his exceptional skills and unmatched talent, he has made an irreplaceable mark in the pages of cricket history. He has gained respect from all true lovers of the game, especially from Indians after the 1983 World Cup. The BCCI also honored Kirmani with the highest awards for his exemplary performance.

Syed Kirmani: Early Life and Background

Born on December 29, 1949, in Madras, India, Syed Kirmani developed a passion for cricket at a young age and played his first test cricket match against Pakistan on January 24, 1976. Growing up, Kirmani displayed immense dedication to the sport and spent countless hours polishing his skills. He started off as an understudy to a great cricketer, Farukh Engineer, and learned a lot under his guidance. 

In his interviews, he mentioned his unconditional love for the game, which he used to play in the alleys with basic gloves and bricks as stumps. His journey graph is a roller coaster with all the ups and downs, through which he never gave up.

During New Zealand's tour of India, he impressively showcased his talent, leading the batting averages with an impressive 65.33. Additionally, he also scored a total of 305 runs during the Australian tour.

Rise to Prominence

Kirmani’s rise to prominence can be attributed to his remarkable performances at the test series level. He quickly made a name for himself with outstanding displays in various tournaments. 

Kirmani got dropped for Bharat Reddy for the 1979 Cricket World Cup and the series against England. Despite his initial struggles to establish himself, he displayed incredible resilience and determination, which led to his breakthrough. 

Kirmani’s career has been nothing less than worth remembering. He has consistently performed at the highest and lowest levels, accumulating wickets from behind the stumps across all game formats. His ability to be agile and alert made him a dependable resource for Indian Cricket. Over the years, Kirmani achieved several milestones and broke records with determination.

In the years 1984–1986, he scored big hundreds and played well along with Ravi Shastri in Bombay. In the same series of the Madras test, his performance was not as good as expected. He missed a catch, which contributed significantly to an Indian defeat. This led to his removal from the team, which in turn worked in favor of Sadanand Vishwanath.

Syed Kirmani: Cricketing Career

In Test matches, Kirmani is known for his solid technique and immense concentration. In 88 tests, he has set remarkable records. During the Australian Series of 1979–80, he matched Naren Tamhane's Indian record for a single series by achieving 17 catches and 2 stumpings against Pakistan.

In the 1983 World Cup, he won the award for the best wicketkeeper. The highlight of this was the catch of Faoud Bacchus that he took in the finals against the West Indies. He was a lower-order batsman and played an unbroken inning of 126 runs with Kapil Dev against Zimbabwe. His international career produced records of 160 catches and 38 stumpings (test matches). His performance in ODIs was no less than this, too. He took a total of 27 catches and nine stumpings in one-day internationals.

His journey has not always been filled with highs. He was the wicketkeeper who had just taken a very important catch of Allan Border in the World Cup series. Due to this, he hurt his leg badly and was barred from playing the remaining matches.

Syed Kirmani: Major Tournaments and Series

Syed Kirmani is regarded and known to be one of the greatest cricketers of his time. His exemplary performances have only improved his reputation. From tournaments to domestic leagues, Kirmani consistently showcased his skills and made a significant impact on the game.

Furthermore, Kirmani has also excelled in other major tournaments, such as the test match in Bombay, where he made 102 runs in partnership with Ravi Shastri.
His international cricket career, unfortunately, ended due to a leg injury. India went for the younger wicketkeepers like Kiran More and Chandrakant Pandit, and despite all the trials, he could not regain his place.

Kirmani has had his share of lows and highs, but one of his innings is still remarkable. In the years 1979–1980, he also scored a century as a nightwatchman. This series was held in Bombay and is one of the biggest hits of Kirmani’s career. He was a part of one of the most critical partnerships with Kapil Dev in the 1983 World Cup. He scored 26 runs as a lower-order batsman and supported Kapil throughout. This partnership led India to believe they could win the World Cup and make a permanent place in the hearts of Indians.

His agility and alertness on the field have led to many run-outs of various batsmen. Everyone had their eyes on Kirmani when the ball had to be caught in favor of India.

Later in his career, he never left the game of cricket. He played for the Railways as a domestic cricketer and put his skills to efficient use. Henceforth, he went back to where his journey started. He started to play for the Karnataka Team with the same spirit.

Kirmani’s contributions have not only come through big scores but also through match-winning performances that showcased his ability to handle pressure situations. His aggressive approach to the game made him a valuable resource for various wins attributed to India. Even though his career lasted a short time, it was memorable for his fans. 

Syed Kirmani's: Playing Roles and Skills

Syed Kirmani’s primary role in the team is that of a lower-order wicketkeeper, and he mastered this role with exceptional skill. As a focused wicketkeeper, Kirmani possessed an unconventional technique that allowed him to judge the length of the ball early and play shots.

One of Kirmani’s greatest strengths was his ability to adapt to different formats and conditions. With a solid defensive technique, he could play long innings when required, but it is his aggressive batting style that truly sets him apart.

His game was both appreciable and disheartening at times. His test match against England did not go as expected. He couldn’t perform well behind the stumps for three consecutive matches, unfortunately. This led to England’s win and a devastating defeat for the Indians.

Kirmani’s impact on team dynamics goes beyond his skills as a player. His commitment to teamwork had set new standards within the team, inspiring his teammates to prioritize their physical well-being. He was guided by the principles of teamwork and is known for his unhindered determination.

Recognition and Awards

Syed Kirmani’s exceptional performances have earned him numerous accolades throughout his career. He has been recognized as one of the finest wicketkeepers of all time by receiving prestigious awards from various cricketing organizations.

Kirmani was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri in 1982 for his exceptional skills in his field. In 2016, he received the prestigious CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award and was honored for his service.

Kirmani’s contributions to the game have not gone unnoticed by major cricket organizations. He has been offered honorary positions and roles in various cricketing bodies, further demonstrating the respect and admiration he commands within the cricketing community.

A Bollywood film titled ‘83’, starring Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh in December 2021, featured Sahil Khattar as Kirmani.

Syed Kirmani’s journey as an aspiring cricketer playing in the alleys started off well. It led him to become one of the most renowned names just because of his never-giving-up attitude. His reach to such heights will only be attributed to his relentless hard work. He has made sure to make his name in the world of cricket and in his Indian legacy.

Kirmani’s impact extends beyond statistics and records. He has become a symbol of passion, resilience, and leadership within the cricket fraternity. His unwavering dedication to success shows that there is no substitute for hard work. One can achieve all of their dreams if efforts are made properly.

When did Kirmani make his ODI Debut?
Kirmani made his ODI Debut on February 21, 1976
How many test matches has Syed Kirmani played?
Syed Kirmani has played 88 test matches in international cricket.
How was Syed Kirmani's batting ability, and what were his notable innings?
Apart from his exceptional wicket-keeping skills, Syed Kirmani was a capable lower-order batsman. One of his most memorable innings came during the 1983 World Cup, when he scored a crucial 24* in the final against Zimbabwe.
How many runs did Syed Kirmani score in test matches?
Kirmani scored 2759 runs in the test matches, where his top score was 102.
How many runs has Kirmani scored in FC Cricket?
Kirmani has scored 9620 runs in FC Cricket.