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India's oldest Test cricketer Dattajirao Gaekwad passes away aged 95, BCCI expresses grief (Ld)

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India's oldest Test cricketer Dattajirao Gaekwad passes away aged 95, BCCI expresses grief (Ld)

Mumbai, Feb 13 (IANS) The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has expressed its profound grief at the passing away of Dattajirao Gaekwad, former India captain and India’s oldest Test cricketer.

“The Board expresses its heartfelt condolences to Gaekwad’s family, friends, and admirers,” the BCCI wrote on X.

Gaekwad, who captained India on a tour of England in 1959, passed away in his hometown Vadodara on Tuesday. He was 95 and acknowledged as India’s oldest Test cricketer since 2016.

Gaekwad played in 11 Tests and led the team during India’s Tour of England in 1959. toured England in 1952 and 1959 and West Indies in 1952–53.

Blessed with a rock-solid defence and delightfully crisp shots, Dattajirao Gaekwad made his Test debut in Leeds, in the first Test of the 1952 tour of England. He opened the innings despite having never done that previously even at the domestic level. He had to pull out of the team in the 1953 tour of the West Indies when he collided with Vijay Hazare while going for a catch in the second Test and dislocated his shoulder.

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Under his captaincy, Baroda won the Ranji Trophy in the 1957-58 season, beating Services in the final. Gaekwad, who scored 219 against defending champions Bombay during the season, scored a century in the final against Services.

Gakekwad captained India for the first time on the tour of England in 1959 as Hemu Adhikari, who led the Indian team in the fifth Test against the West Indies, was unavailable.

In 11 Test matches, Gaekwad scored 350 runs with a top score of 52, his only Test fifty coming against the West Indies in 1958–59. He played 110 first-class matches, scoring 5788 runs, hitting 17 centuries and 23 half-centuries. An occasional leg-spinner, Gaekwad also picked 25 wickets in First-class matches with a best performance of 4-117.

–IANS

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