INDIA’s EX-Cricket Captain Ajit Wadekar Passes Away

AJIT Wadekar, former India crickter captain, who helped India achieve historic victory in England and the West Indies in 1971, passed away in Mumbai on Wednesday following prolonged illness. Under Wadekar’s captaincy, India had won their first overseas win in these two countries. Mumbai born Ajit Laxman Wadekar for the Indian national team between 1966 and 1974. He was also a Coach, Manager and Chairman of Selectors .The former cricketer who was a left-handed batsman, made his first-class debut in 1958-59 before making his India debut in 1966-67. He was also India’s first ODI captain and appeared only in two matches. In this career, Wadekar scored 2,113 Test runs, including 14 half-centuries and one hundred. After his retirement as a player, he served as the manager of the national team led by Mohammed Azharuddin in the 1990s. He later became chairman of selectors as well. As Manager, India had finished semi-finalists at the 1996 World Cup. He later became the chairman of selectors as well. Wadekar is the only cricketer apart from Lala Amarnath and Chandu Borde to have served as captain, manager, and selector in Indian cricket. He was 77 and is survived by his wife Rekha, two sons and a daughter. Wadekar was declared dead on arrival in a south Mumbai hospital. His last rites will be performed on Friday as per his family. Publicity shy former cricketer was critically unwell for some days and was seeking treatment for the same,” read the statement from the Jaslok Hospital. Cricket enthusiasts say he was an  aggressive batsman and a pioneer in Indian cricket despite a mere 37 Test appearances  leading India to triumphs in England and the West Indies .Wadekar scored 2,113 runs in his Test career, including one hundred, and was also the country’s first ODI captain. He appeared in just two matches. India lost both those ODIs against England, which prompted Wadekar to retire from international cricket in 1974. He had made his first-class debut in 1958 before making his foray into international cricket in 1966. He batted at number three and was considered to be one of the finest slip fielders. The  GOI  honoured him  with the prestigious Arjuna Award in recognition of  his sporting talents. He also received the Padmashri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour. In his tenure as manager, India had finished semi-finalists at the 1996 World Cup.

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