Former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad is celebrating his 53rd birthday on August 8, 2022, on Friday. He played 33 Tests and 161 ODI’s for Team India from 1996 to 2001, where he clinched 96 and 196 wickets respectively. After his cricketing career was over, he turned to coaching. After the disappointing performance of the Indian Team in World Cup 2007, Prasad was appointed as the bowling coach of the team for the Bangladesh Tour in May. It was his return to the Indian team after a span of 3 years. On 15 October 2009, Venkatesh Prasad and fielding coach Robin Singh were sacked by the BCCI, which did not give any reasons for the unceremonious dumping. He was appointed as bowling coach for Kings XI Punjab. He was also the coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore during their inaugural season in 2008.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LEGEND, I Was Big Fan Of you In 90s, My favorite Moment wc 1996 ______ pic.twitter.com/Vf3gmO9lOY
— _________ _____ _____ (@ShelkeAbhimanyu) August 5, 2022
However, the highlight of Venkatesh’s career was his battle against Pakistan’s Aamer Sohail. Prasad’s famous send-off to Pakistan batsman Aamir Sohail in the 1996 World Cup quarterfinal match still remains one of the most talked-about moments in the history of India-Pakistan cricket. Chasing 288, Sohail helped Pakistan get off to a brisk start. In the 15th over, he smashed a boundary off the former India fast bowler and sledged Prasad by pointing a finger and the direction in which he hit the ball. Prasad, during an interaction with R Ashwin on his Youtube show, revealed that were words exchanged between him and Aamir, something that the former Pakistan captain will never accept.
“He came down the track and gave himself a bit of room and hit me for a boundary, he showed his bat and showed his fingers towards the place where he hit the bat” Prasad said.
“He said, he doesn’t accept that but he told me and I could hear him. We are quite close, I had completed my follow-through, he said ‘tujhe fir vahin marunga’ (I am going to hit you there next ball). I just heard him say that, I just used a couple of words and went back. There was a lot going through,” Prasad revealed.
Notably, well-set batsman Sohail regretted challenging Venkatesh instantly as the former India pacer knocked his off-stump off the very next delivery. No fan will ever forget Prasad’s reaction after that – mouthing what can only be imagined as expletives and gesturing Sohail animatedly to get out of the field.