International stars head to Glasshouse Park to mark Kotak’s swansong

Sitanshu Kotak
Sitanshu Kotak

A special Lloyds Bank Challenge Match is taking place on Wednesday to celebrate Indian talisman Sitanshu Kotak’s contribution to Kenilworth Wardens, and to Midlands cricket.

Kotak, who is retiring at the end of the season, has put together an International XI to play against the Birmingham Premier League Select XI, managed by its general manager Nick Archer.

The T20 match, which starts at 7pm, is the centrepiece of Kenilworth Wardens’ floodlit week, and the International XI features a number of big names including Melbourne Stars’ Big Bash batsman Alex Keath, Gauteng’s Dom Hendricks plus wicketkeeper Arminder Brar and all-rounder Amitoze Singh who both play first-class cricket in India.

Kotak’s 20-years as Wardens’ pro is unprecedented and during this time he has unquestionably been the dominant figure in the Birmingham League.

His longevity is all the more remarkable given that until last year he also returned to India each winter to play a full season of first-class cricket.

Wardens’ head of cricket, Paul Smith, who has seen Kotak’s full term with the club, had nothing but praise for the former India A all-rounder’s contribution.

He said: “The words ‘great’ and ‘legend’ are massively overused in sport, but I can’t think of anyone about whom they are more appropriate.

“Tak has scored over 20,000 runs and taken over 1,000 wickets for our club, whilst becoming known as someone who epitomises most of the qualities we all admire in our sporting heroes.

“He is the most determined, hard-working cricketer possible, but also a complete gentleman, renowned for his ability to shake the hand of everyone he meets, then shake them again to be sure he hasn’t missed any first time.

“I really hope lots of people turn out to see him on Wednesday, and in particular we are hoping to see plenty of current and former cricketers from around the local circuit.”