Manoj Prabhakar (born 15 April 1963) is a former Indian cricketer. He was a right arm medium pace bowler and a lower order batsman who also opened the innings sometimes for the Indian cricket team until his retirement in 1996. Manoj Prabhakar took 96 wickets in Test cricket, 157 wickets in ODIs, and over 385 first class wickets playing for Delhi. He has also played for Durham. Manoj Prabhakar is remembered for his bowling which was his strongest suit; using slower balls, and out swingers and opening the bowling. He was also a useful lower order batsman and a defensive opener.
Manoj Prabhakar opened India's batting and the bowling in the same match, one of the few players to do so consistently at international level. He accomplished this 45 times in ODIs and 20 times in Tests, more than any other player in both cases. Manoj Prabhakar played his last ODI against Sri Lanka in the 1996 Cricket World Cup in New Delhi. He struggled to bowl well against Sanath Jayasuriya in that match, and had to bowl off spin in the last two overs. The crowd booed him off the ground.
After 1996 World Cup, he was not selected for the Indian team's tour of England. Manoj Prabhakar reacted by publicly criticizing the then Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin and the Board of Control for Cricket in India and accused Azharuddin of involvement in match fixing. In 1999, Manoj Prabhakar participated in Tehelka's expose of match fixing, but was himself charged of involvement and subsequently banned by the BCCI from playing cricket.
Politics and Coaching:
Manoj Prabhakar joined the Congress party and unsuccessfully contested election to the Indian Parliament from Delhi in 2004.
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