Streets named after Kohli, Tendulkar, Laxman, Kapil in Melbourne!

December 8, 2020

Melbourne is the unchallenged ‘Sports Capital of Australia’ and is also sometimes referred to as the ‘Sporting Capital of the World.’ Sporting culture is woven into the fabric of the Capital of the State of Victoria and Sports is part of the Melburnian way of life. Australian Rules Football, Rugby Union and League, Tennis Grand Slam, Formula One Grand Prix, Cricket, Horse Racing, Soccer, Netball and Basketball - every sport boasts of a Stadium of its own with the city unrivalled in spectator support.

When it comes to Cricket, cricket enthusiasts might not have missed the fact that Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) hosts all the major cricket tournaments in Australia as the grand final venue. Every year, the day following Christmas on ‘Boxing Day,’ a public holiday, a Test Match commences at the MCG between host nation Australia and an opposing national cricket team that would be touring the land Down Under, referred to as ‘Boxing Day Test Match,’ which this year involves India. The iconic Victorian landmark ‘The G’ was the world’s biggest cricket stadium from 1853 to 2019, until it was outdone by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (Motera) Stadium in Ahmedabad, India.

SUBURB OF ROCKBANK

In the Melburnian temple town of Rockbank
Nineteen roads adorn the ‘Cricketing Greats’
Names of eleven type of street variations
Assembled from six cricket playing nations

Among them - three Indian streets popularly jive
Kohli Crescent, Dev Terrace and Tendulkar Drive!

There is pleasant news for the cricket crazy fans across the globe. If you were ever dreaming of living in a residential address named after your favourite cricketer, it is up for grabs. Welcome to Rockbank: the rural-urban fringe in the Melton City Council, approx. 37 kms from Melbourne CBD in the State of Victoria, Australia!

Located in the growth corridor of west Melbourne, ‘Accolade Estate’ (a housing estate broadly means a residential area in which the houses have all been planned and built as a single development) proudly boasts of having its streets named after cricketing greats from 6 cricket playing nations as depicted below. This ‘Estate of Fame’ is bestowed to have all the nineteen streets named after famed cricketers of the world spanning a few generations - Laurie Nash (1932) to Virat Kohli (2020). Aussie great bowler of yesteryears Glen McGrath attended the initial launch of the Project in November 2019.

The Directors Anthony Braunthal and Khurram Saeed of ‘Resi Ventures,’ the Developers of the estate initiated this unique idea of imparting Cricketing legend’s names to the streets upholding their Company’s chiming slogan ‘bringing land back to life’ and as many as 60 names were submitted to the Council for approval . Anthony is the grandson of Aussie sporting legend Laurie Nash and Khurram of Pakistani origin who migrated to Australia at the age of ten is an avid cricket fan, having played cricket all his life.

ACCOLADE ESTATE

The Indian Cricket team is in the midst of their 70 day tour tour and I for one thought, the time is apt to throw some light on these Cricketing Streets. After the coronavirus restrictions were lifted in the State of Victoria in November 2020, my friend Asad Parkar (no relation of former Indian opener Ghulam Parkar) and I set off to visit this housing estate in Rockbank. On what turned out to be a gloomy afternoon, we had a first-hand look at the streets named after the Cricketing celebrities, filing this report directly from the base.

The estate is off Leakes road with construction stages 6, 7 and 8 fully accomplished, with Stage 9A ongoing. The government restrictions due to coronavirus epidemic had an impact slowing down its construction pace. 65 houses are completed and 73 are under construction with a timeframe of a couple of years for the estate to blossom. There is a lot of dust around with construction material everywhere with not much greenery at this point of time with planting scheduled for early 2021.

Let’s interpret the above mentioned Street names as to their meaning to have a better understanding:

Street (St): A public road with buildings on both sides.
Drive (Dr.): A road that has its route shaped by its environment, like a lake or mountain.
Way (Wy): A small side street off a road.
Avenue (Av.): A broad road, typically having trees at regular intervals along its sides.
Boulevard (Bvd): A wide street that has trees/vegetation on both sides with usually a median in the middle.
Circuit (Cct): A roughly circular route that starts and finishes at the same place.
Crescent (Cr.): Road shaped as a crescent moon where both ends join the same thoroughfare.
Close (Cl.): A dead end street, especially one end in a circular turnaround.
Grove (Gr.): A road lined with houses amidst a lot of trees.
Lane (La.): A narrow road.
Terrace (Tce): A small street that follows the top of a slope.

STREETS NAMED AFTER INDIAN CRICKETING GREATS

India has given the world some of the best cricketers. The likes of Kapil Dev, VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli have stamped their authority wherever they played and are revered by the cricketing pundits as well as the sport's fans. Visiting the housing estate, we first covered the four streets named after the Indian stars. The first left after entering the estate is ‘Tendulkar Drive’ and the immediate right from there is ‘Kohli Crescent,’ further down passing ‘Akhtar Avenue,’ it’s ‘Dev Terrace’ and at the farthest end is ‘Laxman Close.’

Kohli Crescent

‘Kohli Crescent’ is named after India’s present skipper in all three formats of the game (Test, ODI and T20) and is the only player to have made it amongst the current crop of cricketers. Virat Kohli, the right handed Delhi batter is regarded as one of the best contemporary batsmen in the world, at the helm of the Indian Cricket team since 2013. The buzz is, when in Melbourne, he may get behind the wheels paying a visit to his namesake street, but we got the better of him by visiting prior. Kohli Crescent appears to be bought with houses completed. The street is at a prime location as it overlooks an active green space of 50,000 sqm of future wetlands featuring a park shaped like ‘cricket ball with stumps,’ a sanctuary for birds and wildlife and thus the properties here are dear.

Tendulkar Drive

‘Tendulkar Drive’ - perpendicular to Kohli Crescent is named after the ‘Master Blaster’ Sachin Tendulkar, who is widely regarded as the world’s most prolific batsman. He is the highest runs scorer in international cricket and the only player hitherto to have scored 100 international centuries. The swashbuckling Mumbai batsman, an honorary member of the ‘Order of Australia,’ a former captain of the Indian cricket team, regaled the cricketing world with his scintillating cover drives throughout his career.

Laxman Close

‘Laxman Close’ is named after the stylish Hyderabadi right-hand batter VVS Laxman, who was known for his elegant stroke play. The most graceful of India’s ‘Fab Four’ batsmen during his playing days, he is best remembered for his memorable knock of 281 in the Kolkata Test (2001), which turned the match and the series ending Australia’s record-breaking winning streak.

Dev Terrace

‘Dev Terrace’ is an honour conferred on India’s first World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev, hailed as one of the greatest all-rounders of the game. A fast bowler and a hard hitting middle order batsman, he is the only player in cricket’s history to have taken more than 400 wickets, scoring over 5000 runs in Tests. The Haryana player is the first cricketer to have bagged 200 wickets in ODIs.

Amongst the names submitted to the Council, the likes of Rahul Dravid and Mahendra Singh Dhoni were looked into. In the case of Dravid, there aren’t any streets ‘with a wall’ and perhaps none of the streets were ‘cool enough’ to be named after Dhoni.

STREETS NAMED AFTER CRICKETING GREATS FROM OTHER NATIONS

Pakistan

The Pakistanis have been allotted the lion’s share of streets in the housing estate, raising a few eyebrows especially when none of them are named after the English and Sri Lankan stars though Kumar Sangakarra was under consideration. However, one cannot deny the fact that Pakistan has had many remarkable cricket players who have left a mark. KHAN STREET is named after Imran Khan, the current Prime Minister of Pakistan, best known for leading his country to their first World Cup win in 1992; MIANDAD STREET is in honour of Javed Miandad, celebrated for his unconventional style of captaincy and batting, revered for his historic last ball six (needing 4 runs) in the finals of the Austral-Asia Cup against arch-rivals India in 1986 at Sharjah, UAE; AKRAM WAY named after Wasim Akram, married to a Melburnian Shaniera Thompson, is a left hand fast bowler, addressed as the ‘Sultan of Swing’ and is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest bowlers of all time; AKHTAR WAY has it for Shoaib Akhtar, the ‘Rawalpindi Express,’ recognised as one of the fastest bowlers in the history of cricket, the first to break the 100 mph barrier twice; INZAMAM STREET is for Inzamam-ul-Haq, the ‘Sultan of Multan,’ a former skipper and the only Pakistani batsman to have scored 20,000 runs in international cricket arena; YOUNIS LANE after Younis Khan, one the greatest middle-order batsmen in Test cricket also holds the record for most centuries scored by a Pakistani in Test cricket history; *WASIM CIRCUIT is named after Wasim Bari or Wasim Raja or Mohammad Wasim or Imad Wasim? Your take?

West Indies





The West Indies were the most feared cricketing squad of the world in the 1970s and 80s, not losing a Test series for 15 long years. The team made up of astonishing batsmen and a battery of super-fast bowlers that included Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Andy Roberts, Sylvester Clarke, Colin Croft and Malcolm Marshall sent the opposition packing. GARNER GROVE is named after Joel Garner, the highest ranked ODI fast bowler of the West Indies cricket team of that era; AMBROSE STREET after Curtly Ambrose, rated the best fast bowler during his time for sheer accuracy; SOBERS DRIVE is for Garfield Sobers, a dual Barbadian-Australian citizen, widely considered as the cricket’s greatest ever all-rounder who represented his country between 1954 and 1974;

Australia

Australia, rated by many as the ‘finest team’ in all formats of the game has a couple of streets named after their cricketing heroes including the estate’s main entrance. WAUGH STREET is named after Stephen ‘Steve’ Waugh, who led the Aussies from 1997 to 2004 to fifteen of their record sixteen consecutive Test match wins and to victory in 1999 Cricket World Cup; McGRATH WAY is in honour of Glenn McGrath, a fast-medium swing bowler known for his consistency in maintaining an accurate line and length; NASH BOULEVARD adorns the entrance to the estate and is befitting as it is a tribute for a sportsman of Laurence ‘Laurie’ Nash calibre who excelled in cricket as well as Australian Rules Football (AFL). In cricket, Nash was a fast bowler and a hard hitting lower order batsman and in footy, he was the team’s leading goal kicker in several matches. It has been revealed names like Donald Bradman, Dennis Lillee, Allan Border did not make the cut due to various factors.

New Zealand

Richard Hadlee is regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers and all-rounders in cricketing history. HADLEE STREET named after him is parallel to Dev Terrace, his Indian contemporary.

South Africa

South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis, as of 2020, is the only cricketer in the history of the game to score more than 10,000 runs and take over 250 wickets both in Test Cricket and ODIs. KALLIS WAY is named after the legendary cricketer.

MY CHOICE OF CRICKET STREET NAMES

If I was the Developer of the estate, I would have strongly recommended to the Council to approve five players from Australia (host nation); two each from India, Pakistan, West Indies, South Africa, England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka thus giving representation to all major cricket playing nations of the world. My choice would be:

Australia: Laurie Nash, Richie Benaud, Dennis Lillee, Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting (Bradman and Waugh have streets after them in Sunbury, Victoria.)
India: Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar (Kohli losing out as he is a player of the current era)
Pakistan: Imran Khan, Abdul Qadir.
West Indies: Vivian Richards, Brian Lara.
South Africa: Lance Klusener, Jacques Kallis.
England: Tony Greig, Ian Botham.
New Zealand: Richard Hadlee, Stephen Fleming.
Sri Lanka: Aravinda de Silva, Muttiah Muralitharan.

Each of us have favourite Cricketers we revere and you may well disagree with my picks. Which of your cricketing legends should have made it to be named after the 19 streets? Any Sunil Gavaskar fans crying foul out there?

 

 

 

 

 

By Stephen P D’Souza, Melbourne
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Comment on this article

  • Stephen P. D'Souza, Kadri, Mangalore / Melbourne

    Fri, Dec 11 2020

    Other interesting facts related to my piece of writing:

    Steve Waugh and Glen McGrath are from the State of New South Wales. Laurie Nash is originally from the State of Tasmania though he migrated to Victoria later. So, strictly speaking none of the three Aussie players after whom the streets are named are locals.

    The suburb of Rockbank where the Cricketing Streets are located houses Australia’s biggest Durga Mata temple devoted to Goddess Durga.

    Sunil Gavaskar fans may be elated to know there is a street named after him called as ‘Gavaskar Place’ in Khandallah, Wellington, New Zealand. Another road close to Gavaskar place has been named after Bishen Singh Bedi. There is a ‘Kapil Grove’ after Kapil Dev round the corner. Gavaskar and Kapil Dev didn’t exactly get along famously during their playing days; Gavaskar and Bedi do not see eye to eye now though the latter named one of his sons after the former. But, here they are all peacefully together in the form of Streets.

  • Stephen P. D'Souza, Kadri, Mangalore / Melbourne

    Thu, Dec 10 2020

    Hi Charles – An interesting observation but not necessarily so, but a very good point to ponder! In the Cricketing Estate, out of the 18 players named after the 19 streets, the lone legend who is no more is Australian Laurie Nash after which the estate entrance has been named whereas the others are alive. Nash passed away on the 24th of July 1986, aged 76.

    Overall, if you look at the State of Victoria, there are some interesting facts with regards to the street names. The outer south-eastern suburb of Narre Warren South where we are located has a few streets named after the members of the famous rock band Beatles - Lennon Court, Tangerine Drive, McCartney Drive. In the suburbs of St Kilda and Elwood, streets are named after world famous writers, artists and musicians. Australian Rules Football (AFL) is a big thing here and well-known footballers of the club Essendon are celebrated in a suburb called Berwick.

    There’s a Mitcham cluster reflecting Indian cities that was named by a well-known local who loved travelling there like Lucknow St, Agra St, Calcutta St, Delhi St. In the suburb of Caulfield South, all the planets except Neptune and, unsurprisingly, Uranus are on the map.

    And the list goes on …

  • Charles D'Mello, Pangala

    Thu, Dec 10 2020

    The difference between India and Australia is they name the streets when legends are alive and In India we name the streets when the legends identity is lost (after 100 years of their death).

  • Stephen P. D'Souza, Kadri, Mangalore / Melbourne

    Thu, Dec 10 2020

    You put in a comment even though you are not a great fan of cricket. Thanks Alzira!

    The suburb of Rockbank where this ‘Cricketing Estate’ is located is approx.10 kms south-east of Melton (your suburb) and falls under the City of Melton (Council) for administrative purposes.

  • Stephen P. D'Souza, Kadri, Mangalore / Melbourne

    Thu, Dec 10 2020

    Hello Roshan – If I can correctly understand your question, your query is do we have any Aussie Indians who have made a name in the field of science, technology, arts etc.? Unfortunately, Indians have to forego their Indian citizenship to gain Australian citizenship as India does not offer dual citizenship. So, strictly speaking it boils down to Australian citizens, but for clarity we often refer to them as ‘Australians of Indian origin’ just like we refer to people from other countries. Australians of Indian origin are the first generation migrants unlike UK, US where they are already a third generation race and hence have made name and fame. As such, there are very few who I can mention here. The list is not exhaustive.

    In Politics, Lisa Singh was Australia’s first federal parliamentarian of Indian origin. Apart from her and the Kenyan born Malayali Peter Varghese – the former Australia’s High Commissioner to India there are no names worth mentioning. However, there are a sizeable number of person of Indian origin candidates contesting at federal, state level elections especially in the elections for the local council bodies.

    Indian origin teachers have made a name in many leading Australian Universities, most notable among them being Purshottama Bilimoria, a professor at the Deakin University, Melbourne and also a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, Akshay Venkatesh and Varghese Mathai are noted mathematicians.

    With their command in English, many Indian origin writers have shot into prominence – from writing Columns in leading newspapers to being Editors. Kersi Meher-Homji is an Author and Biographer. Our own Aravind Adiga (2008 Man Booker prize winner) and Indira Naidoo have made it big.

    Pankaj Oswal, a leading businessman is one of Australia’s richest persons. Tharini Madaliar is an actress, singer and violinist.

  • Stephen P. D'Souza, Kadri, Mangalore / Melbourne

    Thu, Dec 10 2020

    Glad you asked that question Joseph. Just as you, I too thought ‘Wasim Circuit’ is named after the Pakistani wicket-keeper Wasim Bari.

    The probable answer is, it is named after none of them (Wasim Bari/Wasim Raja/Mohammad Wasim/Imad Wasim). The reason I say ‘probable’ is because I still cannot believe it, though initially when I heard about it I thought ‘it was just another joke’ and later when I had it confirmed was still wondering whether it was true. Apparently, there seem to be two streets named after the same Pakistani cricketer within the same Estate without even an Englishman (the home country of cricket) haven’t had any named after.

    In my quest to unravel this mystery, I wrote to the Melton City Council and they replied that it is not the Council that names the Streets, but they act on the recommendations of the Developers. Another representative of the City Council advised me to contact the Surveyors. So, there I drew a blank. I called the Developer’s Office and the receptionist said that she will refer this query to the Head Office and noted my email. There has been no response since. I contacted the Agent who has a ‘listed property’ on that very street. She came back with the name of the Pakistani cricketer and when I queried more about it, she simply went quiet. On the Facebook page of Accolade Estate, I placed the question. The ‘Author’ posted the name that matched the name given by the Agent. For my follow up question, the ‘Author’ confirmed that the two streets are named after the same cricketer.

    The favoured player is Wasim Akram. The two streets - ‘Wasim Circuit’ and ‘Akram Way’ is presumably named after him.

    I did away with this paragraph from the ‘piece of writing’ under Pakistan to control its length. As such, my Articles are pretty long.

  • Alzira Mascarenhas, Mangalore/Melbourne, Australia

    Thu, Dec 10 2020

    Topic of our times Stephen, well worded and researched ! I must admit I'm not a great fan of cricketing world, but was sure bowled over by the honor given to the cricketing greats, that too mostly based in Melton, my suburb. Well that's a SIX in a Melton Power Play !!!!!! Surely it makes Melton 'cricketing suburb'. of Melbourne ?

  • Joseph Correa, Udupi/Dubai

    Thu, Dec 10 2020

    Hi Stephen
    Wasim Bari/Wasim Raja/Mohammad Wasim/Imad Wasim you were asking to guess for Wasim Circuit. I would go with Wasim Bari as he was the Pakistani wicket keeper when Syed Kirmani was keeping wickets for India. I was thinking of Wasim Raja too but guess his brother Rameez Raja was more popular. Regards: Joe

  • Roshan Dsouza, UAE

    Wed, Dec 09 2020

    Good article and information as well on the achievements of Indians. Does we have the name of any Indians other than cricketers like in the field of science, technology, artists, poets etc.........

  • Stephen P. D'Souza, Kadri, Mangalore / Melbourne

    Wed, Dec 09 2020

    Thanks for your comment David. The Cricketers who are honoured in this Australian suburb by having Streets named after them, were worthy due to their achievements in the game.

    Likewise, when it comes to India, successive governments have argued that it is an automatic choice to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council – its size, largest democracy, second largest country by population, one of the largest economies, the contribution it has made to the world including largest contributor of troops to UN peacekeeping missions and of course an ancient civilisation. Now, applying the same logic to St Aloysius College in a Mangalurean context, the road leading to the College should automatically be named as St Aloysius College Road.

  • Stephen P. D'Souza, Kadri, Mangalore / Melbourne

    Wed, Dec 09 2020

    Good point that Raj. In a vicinity of 10 kms, one has abundant facilities here to gain exposure in any game – from a leaner, to becoming an expert to a professional. When it comes to cricket, there are more than a thousand local cricket clubs in the State of Victoria alone and over a hundred thousand registered cricketers in the State.

  • David Pais, Mangalore

    Wed, Dec 09 2020

    shame on vhp, bjd, hjv & 2 mangalore's current mayor. lady hill, light house hill road, shame, shame...

  • Raj, Mangalore

    Wed, Dec 09 2020

    Indians must feel at home in Australia. Australia has an anti-intellectual culture which holds sports achievements in higher esteem than intellectual achievements.

  • Stephen P. D'Souza, Kadri, Mangalore / Melbourne

    Wed, Dec 09 2020

    Thanks Alwyn! Your choice of India’s former Test Captain Bishen Singh Bedi who played for the country between 1966 to 1979 is spot on as the area is home to a large Punjabi community. Bedi was the only left-arm spinner who formed part of the famous Indian spin quartet along with EAS Prasanna, S. Venkataraghavan (off spinners) and B.S. Chandrasekar (leg spinner) while the rest of the contemporary cricketing world - West Indies in particular, were making waves with their pace battery.

  • Stephen P. D'Souza, Kadri, Mangalore / Melbourne

    Wed, Dec 09 2020

    Thanks Rohan for your appreciative comments.

    Any wild guesses on ‘Wasim Circuit’ as to the Pakistani cricketer after which the street has been named. Wasim Bari/Wasim Raja/Mohammad Wasim/Imad Wasim or None of these?

  • Alwyn, Mangalore

    Tue, Dec 08 2020

    Dear Steve...
    Well articulated ... good to recall these great names in cricket...
    Is Mr. BS Bedi... figuring there?
    Good to see him too....

  • Rohan, Mangalore

    Tue, Dec 08 2020

    Very nice article. Well gathered information.


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