Javagal Srinath has stated that after being recommended by Courtney Walsh to play for Gloucestershire, his career changed dramatically for the good as he had some of his best years after that. Srinath has stated that he had absolute autonomy from his skipper Jack Russell who was the skipper.
In the 1990s, Srinath was arguably India’s fastest ever pace bowler and with a strong shoulder action, he ensured that Indian cricket had a perfect challenger for the overseas tours. When Walsh saw him bowl, he was so impressed that he recommended his name to Gloucestershire and finally, the county snapped his services in 1995.
Srinath didn’t disappoint as well, taking 87 wickets and finished as the fifth highest wicket-taker of the 1995 county season. With 39 wickets, Srinath also ensured that he was at the top of the pile by winning eight of their 17 matches. Reminiscing the time, Srinath stated it shaped his career big-time.
“First of all, I must thank Walsh (currently coaching Bangladesh in the World Cup), for putting my name across to the Gloucestershire county club. My entire career changed (because of that one-year stint). That was a year where I really wanted to bowl more and grow my bowling muscles,” Srinath told ToI.
“Bowling more and more gave me a lot of confidence. I would like to thank Jack Russell (former England wicketkeeper), who was my captain, for handling me beautifully. He gave me absolute autonomy (of course, that freedom came due to a degree of performance) to operate the way I want, which I enjoyed. At the same time, he got the best out of me. I think each and every member of that team is very dear to me. Even now, I have a lot of regard and respect for them.”
Srinath had some of his best days after the county stint and was the spearhead of the attack when India were trying out a lot of pacers like Venkatesh Prasad, Debasish Mohanty, Dodda Ganesh, Harvinder Singh, David Johnson, and Abey Kuruvilla. Srinath believes that the stint not only changed his cricket but also changed his approach to life.
“I think the stint changed my approach towards life, not just cricket alone. There were several things that I learnt along the way. I learnt what’s expected of a professional, how things work in a set-up like that. It was an overall good human experience. You learn the practical meaning of self-reliance, a key word there. This is what you can learn from such an experience.”