|Arun Lal Quick Info
|5 ft 9 in
|Date of Birth
|August 1, 1955
Arun Lal is an Indian cricket coach, commentator, analyst, and former professional cricketer who had represented his country in the longer formats of the sport (16 Tests and 13 ODIs), between January 1982 and April 1989, as an opening batter. In the Indian domestic circuit, he had played for Delhi (1977-78-1980-81) and Bengal (1981-82–1995-96), winning the Ranji Trophy (the premier domestic first-class cricket competition in India) title with the latter team in the 1989–90 season. This was only the 2nd time in history that Bengal had lifted the coveted title, more than 5 decades after their 1st title triumph, in the 1938–39 season. As of April 2022, Bengal had not been able to repeat this rare feat. In March 2001, he announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. Post-retirement, he has worked as a cricket analyst and commentator with several TV networks and media publications. He was appointed as a mentor to Bengal’s senior team in October 2018 and promoted to the position of head coach the following year. Under his leadership, Bengal reached the final of the 2019–20 season of the Ranji Trophy where they lost to Saurashtra. This was the first time that Bengal had reached the final of the tournament since the mid-2000s when they had lost successive Ranji Trophy finals – against Uttar Pradesh (2005–06) and Mumbai (2006–07).
Jagdishlal Arun Lal
Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Arun had attended the Mayo College, a boys-only independent boarding school in Ajmer, Rajasthan, one of the oldest public boarding schools in India.
After his high school graduation, he joined St. Stephen’s College, an affiliated college with the University of Delhi, a collegiate public central university in New Delhi. He had attained his undergraduate degree there.
Cricket Coach, Commentator, Analyst, Professional Cricketer (Retired)
- Father – Jagdish Lal (Former Cricketer) (d. March 1997)
- Mother – His mother passed away in 2021.
- Others – Dhir Muni Lal (Uncle) (Former Diplomat, Former Cricketer, Former Editor of Crickinia, a former Indian Annual Cricket Magazine, Former Indian High Commissioner to the West Indies, Former Indian Ambassador to Somalia) (d. January 1990), Akash Lal (Cousin) (Former Cricketer, Cricket Administrator, Cricket Commentator, Former Selector for the Indian National Cricket Team), Pali Saha (Sister-in-Law) (Works at Lake Town Govt. Sponsored Girls’ High School in Sreebhumi, Kolkata)
5 ft 9 in or 175 cm
76 kg or 167.5 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Arun has dated –
- Debjani Lal – Arun was married for the longest time to Debjani aka Reena. They had parted ways with mutual consent but had continued to live together so that Arun could take care of her as she was battling a chronic illness.
- Bulbul Saha – Arun got engaged to his girlfriend Bulbul Saha, 28 years his junior, in April 2022. The couple got married on May 2, 2022, in a private ceremony held at The Peerless Inn in Kolkata. They had first met at a mutual friend’s party and Arun had even taken his first wife’s consent to go ahead with this relationship and marriage. He and Bulbul had stated that they would continue to take care of his first wife. Bulbul is an English teacher who guides 11th and 12th-grade students at St. Paul’s Mission School, an Anglo-Indian Christian missionary school in Kolkata. She also takes history classes.
Race / Ethnicity
- Mildly stocky frame
- Short-cropped, side-parted hair
- Puffy face
- Sports a thick mustache
Arun Lal Facts
- In September 1982, in his test match debut, against Sri Lanka, Arun scored 63 runs and shared a partnership of 156 runs with the legendary Sunil Gavaskar. In his next test match, against Pakistan, he was again involved in a century partnership with Gavaskar (105 runs).
- He was the 5th-highest run-scorer in the history of the Ranji Trophy at the time of his retirement, with 6,760 runs at an average of 53.23.
- His most important contribution to Bengal’s historic Ranji Trophy title triumph in the 1989-90 season was a knock of 189 runs that had helped Bengal overcome Bombay in the quarter-final. Bombay (later known as Mumbai), the domineering force in the Indian domestic circuit, had won 30 of the 55 seasons of the tournament until then. This included 20 out of 22 titles from 1955–56 to 1976–77, a scarcely believable streak that had included a run of 15 titles in a row from 1958–59 to 1972–73.
- He and Narendra Hirwani were the 2 cricketers who had been featured in the original version of Mile Sur Mera Tumara (As the tune matches, mine and yours), a popular song and music video that was recorded to promote national integration in India and the concept of ‘unity in diversity’. The music video was telecast for the first time on India’s Independence Day in 1988. Arun had represented the state of West Bengal in the video and was depicted as one of the passengers deboarding a train of the Kolkata metro rail.
- In 2016, he was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare form of salivary gland cancer. He had made a miraculous recovery but the episode had forced him to step away from a successful career in cricket commentary (that had lasted about 2 decades) and shift his focus toward cricket coaching.
- In August 2019, in recognition of his services as a cricketer and coach, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), the governing body for the sport in the state of West Bengal, honored him with the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award.
Featured Image by Arun Lal / Instagram