Former Team India batsman Virendra Sehwag, who remarked at the chain of birthdays on Twitter two years ago, had wondered then if the ‘missing link’ — July 9 —was also a cricketer’s birthday. A renowned statistician promptly informed him that July 9 was indeed the birthday of yet another cricketer who had played for India — slow left-arm spinner Venkatpathy Raju.
Confirming the report to this reporter, Raju, who turned 51 on Thursday, first chuckled at the coincidence and then added, “Sanjay Manjrekar was also born in July, on July 12. So, I think all cricketers with cancer zodiac signs can make a good July team. Jokes apart, it’s always a pleasure to be in an elite group, especially with such super stars.”
Another interesting coincidence in the July game is that these July-born crickets all led a team. While Dhoni, Ganguly and Gavaskar led the Indian squad in their times, Raju had led Hyderabad and South Zone teams and Manjarekar, the Mumbai Ranji Team in 1996–97.