Bal Kadbet – a saintly sportsman

“A saintly sportsman” is how a close colleague of Mr. Bal Kadbet describes the man, who earned the distinction of playing in the ACC cricket XI for 25 years, and more. He has more than 1,000 runs and 100 wickets to his credit.

Mr. Kadbet, a junior officer in the office superintendent’s department, was an all-rounder in sports since his school days. He was Bombay school’s captain in 1943-44, and was also captain of the Poddar college cricket team from 1945-48. A well-built Bal Kadbet was a good badminton player during his college days. In fact, he could have reached a very high standard in many other games, but cricket was his true love, and he devoted his life to the game. Not only did he play regularly for the first team of ACC, but he also coached the “B” team players.

What is most remarkable about Bal Kadbet is his saintly temperament. A deeply religious person, he is a true believer in the oneness of all religions, and goes to pray not only in Hindu temples, but also in mosques and churches. Religion, for him, had become a part of his life and character. His love for his fellow beings manifests itself in many ways, and his friends tell many stories of his tender heart. When one of their college friends had failed, it was Kadbet who wept the most. Willingly, he would give his own possessions to others. He was so well-known and respected for his honesty and integrity that the rival team would not object to his substituting for an absent umpire even though ACC team would be playing in the game. Once, when a player objected that Kadbet was ‘running on the wicket’, the umpire refused to consider the objection saying he could not even entertain such a thought about Kadbet.

It would be interesting to note that his first three sons were born when he was playing in the finals of the Times of India Shield tournaments.

ACC is proud to have been associated with such a keen sportsman and a thorough gentleman.

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