Class of 1984-85

Published Jan 20, 2016, 12:21 am IST
Updated Jan 20, 2016, 12:21 am IST
Mujtaba explains why the class, which comprised the likes of Satya Nadella and C.V. Anand, is so special.
Mujtaba Hasan Askari, right hand middle order batsman, played for the Hyd State U-19, U-22 and Intra Varsities.
 Mujtaba Hasan Askari, right hand middle order batsman, played for the Hyd State U-19, U-22 and Intra Varsities.

As schools today pay very little attention to sports and hardly offer any facility like playing ground, children are a deprived a lot as far as sports is concerned. With modern day gadgetry in their hands, children are leading sedentary lives.

The following story may serve an inspiration to those who aspire high in career and at the same time derive learning from sports to shape their lives.


I stumbled upon one rare picture of our school Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet, cricket team of 1984-85. What struck me immediately is most was that my colleagues and members of the school cricket team — the likes of Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft Corporation) — have carved out very high profile and successful careers in their respective lives. And without any doubt, I can say that the common thread that runs in all their success stories is the lessons we learnt from the game cricket.

Simple principles like designing wins, working as a team, making best use of resources coupled with hard work, consistency and determination, were some of the finer things, we learnt from the game of cricket and applied that into every aspect our life, says Askari.


Sports was a highly integral part of our curriculum at the HPS and it was mandatory for all students to play some sport or the other daily between 4 pm and 5 pm. Those who skipped were punished the next day for bunking games.

Such was the focus and discipline in sports at HPS. The class of 1984-85 of HPS was special — even by the school’s uncanny ability to serve as a nursery for some of the biggest names in public life, business and entrepreneurship. This batch of cricketers has the unique distinction of making formidable corporate and public service careers as is evident from the faces in the photograph.


— The writer is the president of Helping Hand Foundation and member of the 1984 and 85 Squad of the HPS Cricket Team

In an exclusive interview with Deccan Chronicle in 2013, Satya Nadella had
mentioned how playing cricket in HPS had a huge impact on his life

Perhaps more than anything, I think playing cricket for HPS taught me more about working in teams and leadership that has stayed with me throughout my career.

There was this one particular incident in a match where my school captain noticed I was bowling some really ordinary stuff. He took over the next over himself, got our team the much-needed breakthrough and then threw the ball back to me in the next over! I will never forget that. What made him do that? Is this what they call leadership?


These are the kind of questions I have since reflected on as I approach many of the things I do today leading teams.