from 2013, the DMK patriarch understood cricket and would often go to Chennai's MA Chidambaram stadium to watch matches. He also liked to watch live matches held outside Chennai.
An adroit politician, Karunanidhi knew how to keep in touch with his followers, be it through popular culture, art or sport. And in a cricket crazy country like India, his love for cricket surely helped him increase his appealas an endearing, down-to-earth leade
Chief Minister M Karunanidhi felicitates the member of World Cup winning team, Ravichandran Ashwin during a felicitation ceremony in Chennai on May 05, 2011.The Tamil Nadu government awarded a some of Rs 3 crore to the Indian team for winning the World Cup 2011. (5 May, 2011)
In a video that has gone viral, the DMK Chief is seen playing indoor cricket with his great grandson and a few family members at his residence in Chennai. His daughter Selvi is seen helping him throw the ball and egging him on, while the child is learning to hold the bat from Selvi’s husband.
The former Chief Minister who turns 95 this year, is seen throwing the ball many times and even attempting a few spin balls! Kalaignar, as he is affectionately known by friends and rivals alike, also taunts his great grandson by pretending to throw the ball. His family members laugh even as they tell the little child that his great grandfather has tricked him!
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The child is also seen hitting the ground with the bat in an attempt to get his thatha’s attention.
With age-related health ailments, Karunanidhi has been out of active politics for over a year now. He had developed a drug allergy in October 2016, and was later admitted in hospital the same year for breathing difficulties. He underwent a tracheostomy in December 2016 and his daughter Kanimozhi had recently said at a meeting that he is able to communicate through lip movements and gestures.
Having been confined to his Gopalapuram residence since October 2016, the DMK leader made his first public appearance in October last year when he visited party mouthpiece Murosoli office.
M Karunanidhi: A cricket lover who adored Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Kapil Dev
Thousands mourned the death of five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's patriach Muthuvel Karunanidhi on Tuesday as he breathed his last after a prolonged battle with illness.
The scriptwriter-turned-politician was a voracious reader and a legendary writer, known for his love for theatre and drama that earned him the tag of 'Kalaignar' - the artist.
Karunanidhi achieved fame as a scriptwriter in the early 1950s before dominating the political scene in the state of Tamil Nadu for nearly five decades. But little is his love for the game of cricket known to many.
Karunanidhi was an ardent cricket enthusiast, who had a good understanding and regularly followed the sport. His daughter Kanimozhi once revealed how he would squeeze his time to watch cricket on television despite his busy schedule, according to The News Minute. At times, he would even call off meetings and appointments to watch a live cricket match along with his colleagues.
Stars like Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath, Sachin Tendulkar and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni were among his favourites, who he admired a lot. During India’s 2011 World Cup triumph, he awarded the Men in Blue a staggering cash price of Rs 3 crore and Rs 1 crore separate for Ravichandran Ashwin, the only Tamil Nadu player in the squad.
When Tendulkar released his biography 'Playing It My Way' in 2014, Karunanidhi congratulated the Mumbai cricketer after being inspired on reading the book.
“Despite his many achievements in cricket, he is a picture of poise, unassuming and fields questions with humility. It would be no exaggeration to say that such qualities were among reasons that brought him huge fame. I am reading with interest his autobiography. I always hold him in esteem… my love for him,” he wrote on social media.
A year ago, he had also paid tribute to the God of Cricket who was bestowed with the Bharat Ratna.
Earlier in March this year, a video of the revered politician playing indoor cricket with his grandson went viral on the occasion of his son MK Stalin's birthday.