Sunday 5 January 2020


Honour to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honour, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause. – ABRAHAM LINCOLN

            Honouring the sacrifices many have made for our country in the name of freedom and democracy is the very foundation of Veterans Day, that most countries observe on their special day. It’s the second successive year that NFMC is celebrating this Day on 14 Jan in a big way. When Cdr Vijay Vadhera President NFMC met VAdm RB Pandit, COS WNC early last month, to discuss  the events in the rundown to our 4th Veterans Day on 14th Jan 2020, the later suggested about holding a cricket match between C-in-C XI and Veterans XI. It was to be followed up with a J-24 sailing race between the two teams on 08th Jan and finally the 17th Soman Memorial lecture on 14th Jan 2020 after the wreath-laying by the serving personnel and Veterans of all three services. In the fortnight preceding the V Day, veterans were programmed to impart motivational lecture in NCS, APS and select schools of Mumbai besides TV/Radio interviews of senior veterans. To showcase our V Day to the city of Mumbai, 35 Veterans Day Banners have been designed by NFMC, printed by MDL and shall be erected by Vajrabahu from 07-14 Jan. In end Dec, Cdr Vadhera being a multi-tasker conceived of holding a Veterans Day Parade on 12 Jan at Marine Drive by C-in-C’s blessings and with support from NCC, SCC and local police. This would indeed be unprecedented for our country and a precursor for other Veterans foundations in future.


         The Veterans team formation commenced a month in advance with the formation of a Whatsapp group by the Team Captain Cdr Vadhera and two practices were undertaken in the NOFRA grounds on 22nd and 29th Dec ’19 for the final clash on Sat 04th Jan 2020. Farokh Tarapore selected his team of 5 Sailors and conducted a few practice races prior to the Final Race. Admin Orders for all events were issued by CAPO including Sailing on 08th Jan, Radio/TV interviews of Veterans and Wreath Laying at the War Memorial on the morning of Veterans Day, 14th Jan 2020,  detailing the command units for various duties.

         Both the teams had a couple of practices of their teams at the NOFRA hockey ground prior to the T-12 final match on Sat 04th Jan 2020. Admin Orders were issued by CAPO for coordination and conduct of the match, detailing K-22 and Kunjali for organising the event. A rolling trophy had been instituted by NFMC. The individual trophies for Best Batsman, Bowler and Man of the Match were introduced by WNC. The ground was prepared and well decked up for 04th Jan. There were separate enclosures for players (the Pavilion) and spectators on opposite ends of the ground. It was planned to commence the match at 10’ O clock to finish it in time for Beer and Lunch at IMSC for the teams and all spectators. Both the teams, the young Veterans XI and the younger C-in-C XI,(with 4 Admirals) were evenly poised to lift the maiden Trophy.

Veterans XI: Cdr Vijay Vadhera (Capt), Cdr Rakesh Jaggi (V Cap), Cdr Tony Chacko (Wk keeper), Cdr Hari Subramaniam, Cdr Murli Menon, Cdr Nevil Malao, Cdr Ritesh Menon, Cdr Dinesh Rai, Cdr Puran Rawat, Cdr Pradeep Jain, Cdr Guddu Sharma, Cmde Anand Singh, Cdr LK Sharma, Cdr Shakti Das and Cdr Raj Dutta

C-in-C XI : VAdm RB Pandit (COS, Capt), VAdm S Naithani (DGNP), RAdm R Pendharkar (FOMA), RAdm G Srinivasan (ASD), Cmde S Sandhu, Cmde Rishi Raj, Cmde Vadhera, Cmde Sachdeva, Capt Srivatsa, Cdr Deo, Cdr Balaji, LtCdr Badal Soni, Lt Pritam, Lt Victor

Commentators : Cdr Raj Dutta & Cdr S Rawat

          The Veterans team was at the grounds sharp at 0845 hrs for a warm-up and the photoshoot by Meena (Pics below). Soon the C-in-C team arrived and both teams could be seen exercising and practising with full josh. The spectators started trickling in at the viewers’ gallery. The Umpires walked in sharp at 0940 hrs. Both the teams jogged in confidently and lined up for the toss between the two Captains (VAdm RB Pandit and Cdr Vijay Vadhera). The former won the toss and elected to bat. The members of both teams shook hand with each other with a warm smile, a challenging glint in their eyes and words of ‘Best Wishes’ on their lips. They then walked back to the Pavillion.

        Ran in the Veterans fielding team lead by Cdr Vadhera at 0955 hrs, swinging their limbs. Soon the field placing had been complete and in walked the C-in-C XI openers, Cdr Balaji at the strikers end and Cmde Vadhera as the nonstriker. Cdr Subramaniam opened the bowling for Veterans. In the next over Cdr Nevil Malao's spectacular 'caught and bowled' sent Balaji home. Next, Cmde Vadhera soon followed him as Retired hurt. The  score kept ticking at a fair pace as Cdr N Malao, Cdr Murli Menon, Cdr Ritesh Menon and Cdr Subramaniam finished their bowling quotas of 3 overs each. VAdm Sandeep Naithani and RAdm G Srinivasan batted like professionals and the C-in-C XI team posted a formidable 89/4 in 12 overs with RAdm Srinivasan lifting the last ball for a huge six. Cdr Deo with 30 runs was the highest scorer for the CinC XI. Both teams gathered at the refreshment point for tea and snacks and a merry ‘meet and greet’ session with the spectators.

       Post the intermission, in walked the C-in-C XI team lead by  COS to defend their well scored 89 runs. Cdr Vijay Vadhera and Cdr Tony Chacko walked in confidently and the later took guard at the striker's end. The 4 bowlers who rotated were Cdr Balaji, Cmde Vadhera, Cmde Sachdeva and Capt Srivatsa. The openers posted 12 in the first over as against the required RR of 7.8. By the end of the second over the score was 21 without loss. In the third over Cdr Vadhera snicked and returned to the pavilion scoring 12 runs. In walked Cdr Hari Subramaniam. The score kept accelerating even as the Commentator Raj kept up the josh of veterans. After the fall of Cdr Chacko; Cdr Hari Subramaniam kept the scoreboard ticking with Cdr Murli Menon and later with Cdr Malao. In 10th Over when we were at 88, Subramaniam lifted the ball for a huge six to finish off with 94 for three. The Veterans XI had registered their maiden supremacy in cricket over C-in-C XI. It was a well-fought closely contested match.

       VAdm RB Pandit (COS), who was also the Chief-Guest gave away the prizes at the presentation ceremony. The Best Batsman trophy went to Cdr Hari Subramaniam with a highest individual total of 38 (the next highest was Cdr Deo with 30 runs), The Best Bowler trophy was bagged by Cdr Nevil Malao with 2 wks off the allotted 3 overs. The MOM of the Cricket contest was Cdr Hari Subramaniam. Adm Pandit then awarded the Rolling Trophy to the Capt of the winning team, Cdr Vijay Vadhera amidst a huge round of applause.


VETERANS XI  beat  CINC XI by 7 wickets


      The Chief Guest in his address congratulated the Veterans for the joint teamwork in lifting the maiden Rolling Trophy of Cricket. Cdr Vadhera in his closing remarks mentioned about the genesis of this Cricket match and instituting of the Rolling Trophy, to enable the tournament to be held every year during the Veterans Day. He also briefed about the pending events in the rundown to the Veterans day, i.e. the Sailing Competition on 08th Jan, Veterans Day Parade on 12th Jan at Marine drive and the Wreath Laying at War memorial on 14th Jan followed by the Soman Memorial Lecture at 1100 hrs in the Asvini Auditorium.  

            The MC then requested all gathered to proceed to IMSC for a chilled glass of Beer and Biryani Lunch.

Shano Varuna! Jai Hind!







  1. Very comfortable initiative.
    Beautifully pictorial narrative.

  2. Thanks Sir, Gracious remark.๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™