The Prestigious D.D.MEHTA Trophy
Shri DUSHYANTRAI DALSUKHRAI MEHTA, popularly known as D. D. MEHTA, was born at Petlad, a medium-sized town in Kheda District, Gujarat, India in a middle class family on 25th May, 1911. The youngest among 6 children, he lost his father at a very early age and it was his mother who brought him up almost single-handed. Growing-up in such a tough environment notwithstanding, right from his childhood, he showed immense interest in Sports & in his early days, actively played a wide variety of the then popular Indian sports like “HU TU TU”, “KABADDI”, 'KHO KHO', 'LANGADI', 'AATA PATA', 'MALKHAMBHA', & other 'ATHLETICS', and excelled in them by winning many prizes, cups & shields. Possessing a very good physique, thanks to being an excellent swimmer sports was clearly a big and all-time passion for him. He brought his good physique to his advantage in several sports.
Given some financial pressures, an 18-year old D.D. Mehta was forced to drop out of college & start earning. He joined Bank of Baroda and was soon given the massive responsibility of being the custodian of the Safe Deposit Vault at the bank’s head office in Baroda. He lent a huge dignity & credibility to this task & served the Bank for nearly forty years sincerely and honestly, so much so, that the Bank awarded seven special increments for his meritorious service and for developing the business of the Bank. This, in those early days of business in India, was a significant achievement. Clearly, he was bringing-in his trade-mark focus & concentration into this endeavour with great passion.
But then, once a sportsman, always a sportsman. Amidst all the reality of life, he still managed to keep alive his passion for sport. During his teens, he had developed a keen interest in other sports like Cricket & Carrom. He was an excellent left arm spinner and used to play with the likes of Late Shri Vijay Hazare, Shri D K Gaekwad and other such national-level cricketers of yester years. One particular incident stands out. During one net practice session, just before India was to tour England, he was bowling to the then India’s best batsman, Vijay Hazare. DD Mehta clean bowled Hazare off the 1st ball with an armer. Hazare asked him to bowl the armer again – got him middle-stump again. Hazare was puzzled & wondered how he bowled the delivery & asked him to bowl a few more. DD Mehta got Hazare’s middle-stump 5 times in that 6-ball over. Hazare was simply stunned. The year was 1952 & DD Mehta a ‘young’ 40 at the time. DD Mehta’s playing days were long over, but, during that English tour, whenever Hazare was out to an armer, he would remember DD Mehta. Hazare, of course, went on to become one of the most prolific & respected Indian batsmen in history, but, DD Mehta will be remembered among the very few who were present then, as the man who clean bowled the great Hazare 5 times out of 6, albeit, in a net session.
Even after his playing days were over, DD Mehta continued his association with sport, as the Managing Committee Member of Baroda Cricket Association , Vice President of Bank of Baroda Sports Club as well as serving many other sports organizations, clubs and associations for many years, all in an honorary capacity for the promotion and development of sport in Baroda.
Above all, what marked DD Mehta out most was his sportsmanlike spirit in real life as well. Always up-right, yet extremely fair & generous in his dealings, he was really loved by everyone he came in touch with. DD, as he was often lovingly referred to by his contemporaries, had a huge circle of friends from different walks of life, with many of them belonging to totally different professions than his. In spite of being a no-nonsense man, he was still deeply adored by everyone for his simple, straightforward & ever helpful nature. Not given to emotional demonstration, yet deeply affectionate towards his family & close friends & an extremely caring human in spirit towards everyone he felt needed help.
In loving memory & honour of late Shri D D MEHTA, his two sons, Shri Snehal D Mehta and Dr. Nilesh D Mehta have donated running trophies for carrom in U S A and cricket in Baroda, India.
The inaugural carrom trophy rolled out in 2001 which was held in Chicago and the winner was Ram Gopal from Michigan. Subsequently, Ram Gopal went on to achieve a hat trick, a feat that will be tough to surpass for the subsequent winners Somasekhar Challa and Sanjay Murthy. Or thats what all thought until an all together unknown player arrived on the scene of US carrom.
It seems that the streak of winning US Nationals has become a habit for the Cleveland based 5 times National champion Saravanan Chandrababu. Ever since he has come on to the US Carrom scene, he has been demolishing the competition year after year, starting from year 2007 and counting. The Mehta family would like to extend congratulations to all these fine carrom players and wonderful human beings. Our families would also like to thank the United States Carrom Association for allowing us to cherish and share our father’s memories.
Mrs. Chhaya R. Desai ( daughter ) and Mr Rajul N. Desai ( son in law )
Mrs. Kalpana J. Desai ( daughter ) and Mr. Jayant L. Desai ( son in law )
Mr. Snehal D. Mehta ( son ) and Mrs. Yamini S. Mehta ( daughter in law )
Dr. Nilesh D Mehta ( son ) and Mrs. Smita N. Mehta ( daughter in law )