Sunday, March 3, 2024

Dattajirao Gaekwad, India’s Oldest Living Test Cricketer, Passes Away Aged 95

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Dattajirao Gaekwad, India’s Oldest Living Test Cricketer, Passes Away Aged 95: Irfan Pathan Shares Heartfelt Message

Photo : Twitter

Former Indian cricketer Dattajirao Gaekwad, the longest-living Test cricketer to have played for India, passed away this morning at 95. He played 11 Tests for India and led in four in a Test career that spanned nine years. Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan took to social media to mourn the loss of Gaekwad, recalling how he scouted young talents in Baroda.

Gaekwad, who was the father of former India opener and national coach Anshuman Gaekwad, breathed his last this morning after battling for life in the ICU of a Baroda hospital for the past 12 days.

Gaekwad, who made his debut in England in June 1952, earned the distinction of India’s oldest-living Test cricket in mid 2016. He opened the innings for India despite never having done so before the tour.

Gaekwad was one among four victims dismissed for no score in the second innings of the Test, besides Pankaj Roy, wicketkeeper-batter Madhav Mantri and Vijay Manjrekar. His West Indies tour in 1953 was terminated during the second Test when he collided with Vijay Hazare while going for a catch and dislocated his shoulder.

In 1957-58, Gaekwad captained Baroda to their first Ranji Trophy title in nine years, scoring a hundred in the final against Services.

“Under the shade of the banyan tree at the Motibag cricket ground, from his blue Maruti car, Indian captain D.K. Gaekwad sir tirelessly scouted young talent for Baroda cricket, shaping the future of our team. His absence will be deeply felt,” Pathan tweeted.

In the Ranji Trophy, Gaekwad represented Baroda from 1947 to 1961. He scored 3139 runs at an average of 47.56.

Gaekwad’s highest was an unbeaten 249 against Maharashtra in the 1959-60 season. He became India’s oldest living Test cricketer in 2016 after the death of former batter Deepak Shodhan at the age of 87 in Ahmedabad.

Gaekwad played his early cricket for Bombay University and the Maharaja Sayaji University in Baroda.

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