This day, 33 years ago, Haryana made history by winning the Ranji Trophy at the Wankhede Stadium in an epic final against Bombay. It has never won the title since, but the squad relives those moments every year.

The team members travelled for nearly six months, playing league and knockout matches before scripting an incredible two-run win in the final. Five months later, the team won the Irani Cup too.

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They players from that squad have diversified into various professions, including hospitality, journalism, teaching, and management. Sportstar reached out to them to learn their current status in cricket and other fields.

Kapil Dev led the team, comprised of ambitious youngsters, coached by veteran off-spinner Sarkar Talwar. “It was a lovely bunch,” remembered Kapil. For Talwar, it was special because he inspired the players to perform when it mattered. 

Kapil keeps himself busy with his business — installing floodlights for grounds — but insists it is not his main work. He takes pride in giving motivational lectures on leadership in the corporate sector.

“Speaking was not my strength, but I enjoy it the most now. It is a learning for me. When the audience asks me questions, I also learn from them. I take pride in being able to motivate even one youngster who may be looking for guidance,” Kapil told Sportstar.

Bombay batsman Abey Kurvilla is run out, handing the title to Haryana.

Bombay batsman Abey Kurvilla is run out, handing the title to Haryana.
| Photo Credit:
N. Sridharan/The Hindu


Bombay batsman Abey Kurvilla is run out, handing the title to Haryana.
| Photo Credit:
N. Sridharan/The Hindu

Amarjit Kaypee scripted the winning moment in the final when he ran out Abey Kuruvilla, the last man, from square leg. “Had I fumbled, we would have lost,” Kaypee remembered. Kaypee worked with Food Corporation of India. “My job was to inspect the warehouses. It required travelling and some vigilance work, but I loved it.”

For Rajesh Puri, his boundary save at fine leg was unforgettable. “It was a Dilip (Vengsarkar) shot with Bombay needing four. I flung myself, conceded just one and rest was history when Kaypee ran out the last man,” said Puri.

Ajay Banerjee was a proud member like the rest. His century against Bengal in the semifinal at Calcutta was critical. He chose not to pursue cricket and ventured into journalism like his father, Samuel Banerjee, who was the sports editor of The Tribune in Chandigarh. Ajay works at the same newspaper as deputy editor in Military Affairs.

Deepak Sharma, an aggressive opener, scored 199 in the final. “Yes, I felt sad at missing the double century, but nothing could match the joy of winning the match and making history,” said Sharma, who works with the local government in Sydney.

Sanjay Bhatia, who played just one match in the North Zone league, decided to retire from cricket. He set up a hotel in Manali and is happy to host some of his former teammates.

Off-spinner Yogendra Bhandari, who came close to making the Indian team for the tour to Australia in 1991-92, played 13 more First-Class matches before quitting the game. “I lost interest and focused on my job,” said Bhandari. He is currently serving as superintendent of Customs & Central GST in Chandigarh.

Where are the players now?

Kapil Dev (Captain): Motivational Speaker on Leadership.

Sarkar Talwar (coach): Director of Sports at Manav Rachna University

Amarjit Kaypee: Coach of Haryana after retiring as General Manager (Food Corporation of India)

Chetan Sharma: Commentator.

Rajesh Puri: CEO, Kapil Dev Group.

Vijay Yadav: Runs a residential cricket academy in Faridabad.

Pradeep Jain: Deputy General Manager (HR), Oil & Natural Gas Corporation.

Deepak Sharma: Working with the local government in Sydney

Dhanraj Singh: Retired from the Haryana Sports Department

Ajay Banerjee: Deputy Editor, Military Affairs (Tribune)

Yogendra Bhandari: Superintendent, Customs & Central GST.

Ajay Jadeja: Commentator

Nitin Goel: BCCI Match Referee 

Sanjay Bhatia: Owns a hotel in Manali

Vinay Dutt Sharma: Director of Government Relations with Samsung India

Sumeet Dogra: Cricket coach and commentator

Sandeep Joshi: Sports Officer in Air India 

Sukhdev Singh: Deputy Superintendent Police, Vigilance Bureau, Mohali.