On February 13, India’s oldest Test cricketer and former captain Dattajirao Gaekwad passed away due to age-related issues. He is the father of former India cricketer and coach Aunshuman Gaekwad. He was 95. 

Prior to his death, Gaekwad spent 12 days in intensive care at a hospital in Vadodara, the former cricketer’s family informed PTI. After the death of Deepak Shodhan in 2016, he became the oldest living Indian Test cricketer.

“The BCCI expresses its profound grief at the passing away of Dattajirao Gaekwad, former India captain and India’s oldest Test cricketer. He played in 11 Tests and led the team during India’s Tour of England in 1959. Under his captaincy, Baroda also won the Ranji Trophy in the 1957-58 season, beating Services in the final. The Board expresses its heartfelt condolences to Gaekwad’s family, friends, and admirers,” the board posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Dattajirao Gaekwad’s career

Dattajirao Gaekwad’s cricket career for India spanned from 1952 to 1961, during which he played in 11 Tests. He was a reliable batsman with a strong defense and good at driving the ball. He was also an excellent fielder. However, he struggled to secure a regular spot in India’s middle order.

Gaekwad was a key player for Baroda in domestic cricket, scoring 3,139 runs, including 14 centuries, in the Ranji Trophy. His best was 249 not out against Maharashtra. He also scored two other double centuries and had notable performances against Gujarat in 1949-50.

He initially opened for India in England in 1952 but mostly added strength to the middle order in various series against West Indies, Pakistan and England. However, he frequently remained out of the team.

Gaekwad led the Indian team in England in 1959 but couldn’t inspire the team to success; they lost all five Tests. Gaekwad himself scored 1,174 runs on the tour. However, his Test record remained underwhelming.

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Published: 13 Feb 2024, 02:27 PM IST

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