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Syed Kirmani

Syed Kirmani
Personal information
Full name
Syed Mujtaba Hussain Kirmani
Born (1949-12-29) 29 December 1949 (age 74)
Madras, Madras State, India
RoleBatsman, Wicket-keeper
RelationsSadiq Kirmani (son)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 138)24 January 1976 v New Zealand
Last Test2 January 1986 v Australia
ODI debut (cap 17)21 February 1976 v New Zealand
Last ODI12 January 1986 v Australia
Career statistics
Competition Tests ODI FC LA
Matches 88 49 275 84
Runs scored 2,759 373 9,620 881
Batting average 27.04 20.72 30.15 25.17
100s/50s 2/12 0/0 13/38 0/3
Top score 102 48* 161 64
Balls bowled 19 175
Wickets 1 1
Bowling average 13.00 126.00
5 wickets in innings 0 0
10 wickets in match 0 0
Best bowling 1/9 1/9
Catches/stumpings 160/38 27/9 367/112 59/15
Medal record
Men's Cricket
Representing  India
ICC Cricket World Cup
Winner 1983 England and Wales
Source: ESPNCricinfo, 20 August 2020

Syed Mujtaba Hussain Kirmani (pronunciation; born 29 December 1949) is an Indian cricketer who played cricket for India and Karnataka as a wicket-keeper. In 2016, he was awarded the Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honour bestowed by BCCI on a former player.[1] Kirmani was a member of the Indian team that won the 1983 Cricket World Cup .

International career


He started off as an understudy to Farokh Engineer in the tours of England in 1971 and 1974 and to the 1975 World Cup. Kirmani made his debut against New Zealand and in his second Test, equalled the world record of six victims in an innings.[1]

When New Zealand toured India the next year, he topped the batting averages with 65.33, and scored 305 runs in the tour of Australia. He did not have a very good time behind the stumps against Pakistan and West Indies in 1978–79.

He was dropped in favour of Bharath Reddy for the 1979 Cricket World Cup and the subsequent series against England. Sunil Gavaskar was also sacked as the captain. Though Kirmani was dropped ostensibly for performance, there was a rumour that the real reason was that both he and Gavaskar had been approached by the organisers of the Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket.[2]

Back in the team for the series against Australia in 1979–80, he scored a hundred as a nightwatchman in Bombay. His innings of 101* in five hours nearly lasted out the day. He had 17 catches and two stumpings against Pakistan in the same season and it equalled Naren Tamhane's Indian record for a single series. Against England in 1981–82, he did not concede a single bye in three consecutive Tests while 1964 runs were scored.

1983 World Cup

Kirmani won the award for the best wicket keeper in the 1983 Cricket World Cup, his highlight of which was the catch of Faoud Bacchus that he took in the final against the West Indies. In the first round match against Zimbabwe, he equalled the then record by effecting three catches and two stumpings. Kirmani was a lower order reliable batsman and another example is the unbroken 126 for ninth wicket with Kapil Dev against Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup with Kirmani contributing 26 and that partnership proved critical in India being able to continue their run in the tournament.[3]


At Bombay the next year, he scored his second hundred in Tests making 102 and adding 235 with Ravi Shastri, still an Indian record for the seventh wicket. In the Madras Test in the same series, he missed some crucial catches which contributed to an Indian defeat. He was dropped at the end of that series in favour of Sadanand Viswanath.

Kirmani made a comeback in the Australian tour of 1985–86, where he fared reasonably well. He had just taken an outstanding catch to dismiss Allan Border in a World Series Cup match, when he hurt his leg badly. He was forced to sit out of the remaining matches of the tournament and that effectively ended his international career. India went for younger keepers like Kiran More and Chandrakant Pandit and despite trying hard, Kirmani was never able to regain his place.[4]

During his international career, his record included 160 catches and 38 stumpings during test matches, and 27 catches and 9 stumpings during one-day internationals.[1] Always a central figure on the field, he could dive and somersault to catch the ball, and was responsible for many run-outs.[5]

Domestic career

Later in his career he played for Railways in domestic cricket for a season, after which he returned to his former team, Karnataka.[2]


  • He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1982.
  • In 2016 he became the recipient of the 2015 Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award.[1]


Year Title Role Language Notes Ref.
1985 Kabhie Ajnabi The Himself Hindi
2007 Sixer Kannada [6]
2010 Deadly-2
2012 Mazhavillinattam Vare Malayalam Cameo [7]

In popular culture

A Bollywood film titled 83 released in December 2021 about the event of India's first world cup win at Lords. The film features Sahil Khattar as Kirmani and is produced by Anurag Kashyap.[8][9]


  1. ^ a b c d Josh, Jagran. Current Affairs January 2016 eBook: by Jagran Josh. Jagran Josh. pp. 230–231.
  2. ^ a b Nishad Pal Vaidya (29 December 2016). "Syed Kirmani: 17 facts you should know about India's great wicketkeeper". Cricket Country. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Player Profile – Test Cricket: Syed Kirmani (India)". Howstat. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  4. ^ The Illustrated Weekly of India. Published for the proprietors, Bennett, Coleman & Company, Limited, at the Times of India Press. 1988. p. 66.
  5. ^ Singh, Nagendra Kr (2001). Encyclopaedia of Muslim Biography: I-M. A.P.H. Publishing Corporation. p. 360. ISBN 978-81-7648-233-2.
  6. ^ "This film is sure to hold audience interest". The Hindu. 6 January 2007. Archived from the original on 18 November 2021.
  7. ^ P. K. Ajith Kumar (4 February 2011). "Bowled over by cinema". The Hindu. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  8. ^ "After Ranveer Singh's Kapil Dev in 83, film finds its Sunil Gavaskar in Tahir Raj Bhasin. Here's who plays who in Team India". Hindustan Times. 14 February 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  9. ^ "YouTuber Sahil Khattar to play Syed Kirmani in Ranveer Singh-starrer 83". India Today. Retrieved 21 March 2021.


  • Christopher Martin-Jenkins, The Complete Who's Who of Test Cricketers
Preceded byBrijesh Patel Chairman, Selection Committee October 2003 – September 2004 Succeeded byKiran More
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Syed Kirmani
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