Indian Cricket legend Ajit Wadekar had passed away at the age of 77 on Wednesday in Mumbai after a prolonged illness. The former Indian skipper was declared dead on arrival at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre. He had been critically unwell for some time and was seeking treatment for the same.
Condolence by fans across the world flooded social media. PM Modi in his official twitter handle said, “Ajit Wadekar will be remembered for his rich contribution to Indian cricket. A great batsman & wonderful captain, he led our team to some of the most memorable victories in our cricketing history. He was also respected as an effective cricket administrator. Pained by his demise.”
President Kovind, in his message, wrote, “Sad at passing of Ajit Wadekar, one of Indian cricket’s finest left-handed batsman and captain during iconic overseas Test victories in 1971 in the Caribbean and in England. Condolences to his family and cricket fraternity (sic)”.
Expressing grief over former India Captain’s demise, Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin quoted, “Wadekar sir’s presence in the dressing room had a great calming impact during crisis. He made no needless demands of the players because he knew the strengths and weaknesses of an individual. Not for him needless sulking at a failure. He would always encourage us to learn and improve.”
It was under his captaincy that India won the first Test series over West Indies and England on foreign soil in the 1970s.
Ajit Laxman Wadekar played for India between 1966 and 1974. The “aggressive batsman” made his first-class debut in 1958. He was also considered one of the finest slip fielders.
Along with Azharuddin, Wadekar served as the manager of Indian Cricket team in the 1990’s. He is one of the few Indians to represent the country as a Test player and captain, coach/manager and the chairman of selectors.
The left hand top order batsmen represented India in 37 Test Matches. He scored 2113 runs with one century and 14 fifties. He continued to be the captain of Indian cricket team that toured England in 1974 and represented the national team in their first ever One-Day International.