Sadagoppan Ramesh is a former cricket player and a Tamil movie actor. He was born in Madras (now Chennai) in Tamil Nadu. He is a left-handed batsman and his bowling style is right- arm offbreak. He was the foremost cricketer of India who took a wicket off his first ball in One Day International Cricket (ODI). The prey was West Indies player Nixon McLean .
He was given his break to play in his hometown by the recommendation of then A team India coach K Srikkanth. Soon, Ramesh was playing with the India A team. His first debut in the field, as a national player, was in the Test match with Pakistan on 28-31 January 1999. He faced the Waqar Younis- right- arm fast bowler of Pakistan, and Wasim Akram- left-arm fast bowler of Pakistan in this first match held at Chennai grounds. He made an impressive score of 44 against 41 balls. Though he played in the opening slot, he was initially supposed to bat/ play at a lower middle-order. He was shifted to the opening slot following the injuries of other openers. The match was originally to be held at Delhi. But, following the tensions between the two countries (India and Pakistan) due to Kargil War, the wicket was dug up in Delhi. So, the match had to be shifted to Chepauk in Chennai. The Indian fans didn’t want to lose the game to Pakistan, There were a lot of tension and protests were going on. Ramesh said that playing at the home ground is both an advantage and disadvantage. There were over 50000 people seeing you perform. When Ramesh got out, he received a standing ovation from the crowd. Ramesh recalls, “When I got to 30 not out at the end of the first day, I came back in and [Azhar] hugged me and said, "I've never seen any youngster or anybody bat Wasim like this." He gifted me a pair of shoes. That was one of the most memorable moments for me”. The first match was very special for him as he was able to interact and share a dressing room with legends like Sachin and Azharuddin. Ramesh was then an instantaneous success.
The Delhi test series, he says, was among the most difficult wickets he has batted on in his career. He got 96 runs against Mushtaq and Saqlain in the match. Though he was disappointed when he got out at a full toss, the score he believes was incredible. The critics/ detractors said that he would not be able to score runs against the pace bowlers of Australia on the bouncier and faster pitches. But, Ramesh managed to prove them wrong in the match. He states that the India’s best Test Series against Australia was the 2001 series. He made history when he took the catch of Shane Warne at short leg. India was able to win the match and the series too.
His ODI debut was against Sri Lanka in Pune on 30 March 1999. Ramesh scored 110 runs in the debut match of
Shoaib Akhtar. In his last test innings, played at Colombo against Sri Lanka from August 29 to September 2 of 2001, he scored fifty runs. He was the second- highest run-getter for India in that Test series. But after that match, no more support was extended towards him. He played three to four matches between the Pakistan and Australian tour. But afterward, in the next Pakistan tour, he was replaced by
Yuvraj Singh. The doors were shut on him despite of his best performances. Ramesh remembers that as a very disappointing and depressing period.
He ended his career with a strike rate of forty- six runs of a hundred balls. This was way better than his opening teammates/ batsman like Shiv Sunder Das and Devang Gandhi. Ramesh played for Assam in the 2007-08 season of domestic cricket. He also played for Kerala in domestic cricket during 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.
He got married in 2002 and in 2004 was blessed with a daughter. Then, he was able to appreciate his family and see that “life was larger than cricket.” Although, he regrets for his short- lived career. Ramesh and Aparna (his wife) also have a son.
Apart from being a successful cricketer, Ramesh recently widened his career choices by doing a movie in Tamil cinema. His debut film 'Santosh Subramaniam' came in April 2008. In the picture, Ramesh was seen as Sanjay (the main lead’s brother). His next appearance was in 'Potta Patti 50/50' in 2011. It was a cricket- centric comedy. In the film, he characterised himself, who gets kidnapped by the village cricket team. His upcoming films are '
Nataraju Thane Raju' and '
Madha Gaja Raja' by Sundar C.