Kolkata’s favourite son-in-law returns


These days, Ted Dexter watches a game of cricket from afar. However, England's series-levelling victory in Mumbai has got the former captain from the '60s interested, and now, he is willing to watch the third Test at the Eden Gardens from ringside. Dexter has come to Kolkata on Cricket Association of Bengal's (CAB) invitation. The state association is celebrating 80 years of India-England cricket and will be felicitating Dexter and Nari Contractor — the two oldest surviving captains in the world today.

Dexter of course is happy to receive the honour. But there's a sense of uneasiness as well. "Everytime I come to India, England lose. I came here as the captain in 1961 and lost the series 2-0. Then in 1993, I had accompanied Graham Gooch's side as the Chairman of Selectors and England lost 3-0. Now, the series is so intriguingly poised, I don't want Alastair Cook's team to slip," he told The Indian Express on a wintry Monday in Kolkata.

Dexter has an old friend in Kolkata — former India Davis Cup captain Naresh Kumar. It is at his place that the English couple are put up. The 77 year old likes the community garden, a place he visits rather often with his wife Susan. His partner for the last five decades was born and raised in Kolkata (then Calcutta), spending the first eight years of her life here. Susan, however, has a long standing cricketing connection to this city as well.

Susan's father, Tom Longfield, had led Bengal to their first Ranji Trophy title in 1938-39. It was befitting that she married someone who went on to become a great of the game. "Susan loves cricket more than me and it was she who ran the family," Dexter said smiling. "I had to do that," his wife intervenes. "He was an amateur and I had to pay the bills from whatever I got from my modelling career," says Susan. This marriage clearly is still going strong.

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