Tributes Pour In For Cricket Legend Ajit Wadekar

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Ajit Wadekar, former cricket captain, died at the age of 77 after a prolonged illness at Jaslok Hopsital in South Mumbai on Wednesday. Wadekar led India to their first overseas win in England and the West Indies in 1971. Under Wadekar’s captaincy, India won five matches in the West Indies in the early 1970s before beating England in a three-match series. He is survived by wife Rekha, two sons and a daughter. Wadekar, an aggressive batsman was a trailblazer in Indian cricket despite a mere 37 Test appearances. The former left-handed batsman was also India’s first ODI captain and appeared only in two matches.

“With a heavy heart we bid adieu to Ajit Wadekar. The former India captain is no more. Cricketer, Coach, Manager and Chairman of Selectors – Mr Wadekar served Indian cricket in many different ways,” tweeted the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

Following his death, cricketers and fans alike took to Twitter to pay their respects.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ramnath Kovind also took to twitter to pay their tributes.

In this career, Wadekar scored 2,113 Test runs, including 14 half-centuries and one hundred. 

Wadekar made his first class debut in 1958-59 before making his India debut in 1966-67.

After his retirement, he also served as the manager of the national team led by Mohammed Azharuddin in the 1990s. He later went on to become the chairman of selectors as well.

In his tenure as manager, India had finished semi finalists at the 1996 World Cup. He later went on to become 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.

But the feat that made him an icon was the Test wins in the West Indies and England. In a side that included the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, G Viswanath and Bishan Singh Bedi, Wadekar took over the captaincy from MAK Pataudi in 1971.

(With inputs from agencies)





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Pravin Auti Author