Six Over Square Leg: Vikas Laxman Calls Them How He Sees Them

LaxmanThis month we caught up with Vikas Laxman, a regular member of the DPR Hot Dogs D2 side and responsible for organising the umpires in for the SCC League competition.

1. How and when did you get involved in cricket in Shanghai?
In 2006 I was walking around Jinqiao and saw some expats playing cricket in whites at the Dulwich ground. I was so keen to join them that I went there and met Irfan Idress, who was playing for the Hot Dogs. I asked him if I could play in any of the teams, and he introduced me to Chad, the then Hot Dogs D1 captain. I joined the nets on the following Saturday, and it’s been the best thing to happen to me in Shanghai.

2. Who taught you to play cricket?
Actually, in India, no one needs to teach any kid to play cricket. It’s the most loved and played game by almost every kid. So I didn’t get any formal training. Instead I played gully cricket, and then in local grounds with a tennis ball. I started playing with a leather cricket ball from the age of 13-14 at a local club, Hindu Gymkhana, so I got some coaching from the club coaches. My father was also a good player, and we’ve always had good discussions about the game, so that contributed as well.

3. Last month saw the second Shanghai Night Sixes. How were you involved in organising the event?
It was good team work from all the club members to make it two successful events in a row. Last year, we started with the idea of organising night cricket last year, and after we did a feasibility check, found it was do-able. So I was involved in carrying out the operational part of the event, and this year I was also involved in talking to sponsors, which was new for me.

4. What or who rates as the best cricket or cricketer you’ve seen from the stands?
I’ve been a big fan of Sachin Tendulkar, so I would like to say him, but I equally liked watching Rahul Dravid. Both were exceptional on the field, but were equally humble off the field. That makes them good role models.

5. What has been the highlight of your cricket in Shanghai so far?
Basically two things: the Hot Dogs D2 won the cup twice in a row from 2008-09, and also, in 2012 a mixed Hot Dogs side won the SCC Sixes, beating teams of D1 players. I thoroughly enjoyed the tournament, and was satisfied with my contribution to the team.

6. What is involved in organising umpires and how can club members give you better support?
Basically, I wanted to contribute more to the SCC, so I started by getting involved in arranging umpires. Sean Malcom had done all the good work last year, and so far it has been going well. However, it is sometimes difficult to get a good response for D1 games, which is understandable as people do like to spend weekends off cricket with their families. I would like to see a good pool of high standard umpires at both D1 and D2 level, and for that to happen the member clubs need to request players to contribute. If we want good umpires at our games, we also need to contribute for other games. To raise the standard, maybe a casual talk with Waqar or Dayne may help, or the club may set up an umpiring manual in the future.


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