Free Press Journal

Cricket’s Lost Talent! Dinesh Mongia: Despite a decent run, he could never quite make it


Dinesh Mongia was a left-handed batsman who was briefly in the limelight in early 2000s. Mongia is a name which has faded away from the cricketing arena. However, with various turns of events, he joined the demented Indian Cricket League. Mongia made his debut in 2001 against Australia and was an integral part of the team till 2008. He was also part of 2 World cup teams in which he failed. Almost a year after making his debut, he scored his first and only century against Zimbabwe where he remained unbeaten on 159 off 147 balls. He was also named Man of the Series in that tour. He played under Ganguly’s captaincy.

Other than batting, Mongia had the habit of taking wickets when least expected. However, because of his inconsistency, he only played 57 ODIs and 1 T20I between 2001 to 2007. Mongia had an impressive First Class record of 121 matches. He was also the top scorer (38) in his only T20 match which India won against South Africa in 2006. His final India assignment was at Dhaka in an ODI against Bangladesh in May 2007. However, then his name was dragged into the match-fixing controversy in the Indian Cricket League (ICL) in the same year and he was suspended from the league in 2008.

Mongia used to play for Chandigarh Lions team and it was his team-mate Lou Vincent who accepted match-fixing charges and named Mongia along with Chris Cairns in the London court. However, the court gave him clean chit but yet the BCCI hasn’t pardoned him. And now, he is hoping for amnesty and monetary dues from BCCI (and PCA).

He also tried his hands in acting and played a parody of Amitabh Bachchan in ‘Kabab Mein Haddi’. However, it failed at the box-office. Mongia has also ventured into business. Apart from running the academy, Mongia has launched his own cricket kit brand called ‘DM’, a shop near a college premise which sells products, which a number of cricketers use.