Former India all-rounder Rameshchandra Gangaram ‘Bapu’ Nadkarni passed away on Friday. The 86-year-old breathed his last at his daughter’s residence in Mumbai on Friday.
Nadkarni’s son-in-law confirmed news agency PTI that the former cricketer passed away due to old-age problems. He is survived by his wife and daughter.
After making his international debut in December 1955, Nadkarni went on to feature in 41 Tests, accumulating 1414 runs while batting at an average of 25.70.
It was his clinical economy with the ball that earned him several plaudits. In the 41 Tests, the slow-left arm orthodox bowler went on to scalp 88 wickets with 6/43 being his best bowling figures.
He later served as a member of the national selection committee and also as the joint hon. secretary of Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
One of the most economical bowlers to have ever played the game, Nadkarni conceded just 2559 runs from 9165 balls he bowled in Test cricket.
His miserly Test economy of 1.67 is still the fourth-best among bowlers with a minimum of 2000 balls bowled. In one of the best displays of frugal bowling, Nadkarni bowled 21 maiden overs during the first Test against England at Madras in 1964.
In the fifth and final Test of the same series, he scored 52 not out in the first innings and batted for 418 minutes and remained unbeaten on 122 when India were made to follow on.
In first-class cricket, he again stood out with an economy of just 1.64 despite bowling over 10000 balls, picking 500 wickets in 191 matches. He also made 8880 first-class runs with 14 centuries and 46 fifties.
India’s batting legend Sachin Tendulkar expressed his condolences on the demise of the former cricketer. Sharing a photo of Nadkarni on Twitter, the batting legend wrote: “Very sad to hear about the demise of Shri Bapu Nadkarni. I grew up hearing about the record of him bowling 21 consecutive maiden overs in a Test. My condolences to his family and dear ones. Rest in Peace Sir??.”
Very sad to hear about the demise of Shri Bapu Nadkarni. I grew up hearing about the record of him bowling 21 consecutive maiden overs in a Test. My condolences to his family and dear ones.
Rest in Peace Sir??. pic.twitter.com/iXozzyPMLZ
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) January 17, 2020
… and when needed to spend time at the crease to delay the result he had the capacity to block every ball, frustrate the bowling opposition and just remain there without scoring anything .. prayers https://t.co/VLCRqNItkZ
Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis also took to Twitter to pay respect to the former cricketer. “Pained to know about the demise of Bapu Nadkarni, a great cricketer known for his unerring bowling line and making it nearly impossible for the batsman to score. My heartfelt tributes to one of the finest cricketers ever…” Fadnavis tweeted.
Pained to know about the demise of Bapu Nadkarni, a great cricketer known for his unerring bowling line and making it nearly impossible for the batsman to score.
My heartfelt tributes to one of the finest cricketers ever…
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) January 17, 2020
RIP Ramchandra Gangaram ‘Bapu’ Nadkarni. One of the unsung heroes of Indian cricket and a Mumbai legend. He bowled 21 maiden overs on the trot in a test against England, which is still a record. My condolences to his family. #bapunadkarni pic.twitter.com/OEwm0VqH6X
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) January 17, 2020
Oh, just got the sad news of Bapuji’s passing. Another pillar of Mumbai and Indian cricket. And like so many of his era, a lovely kind man, someone I had the privilege of knowing. #BapuNadkarni
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 17, 2020
Nadkarni was a Mumbai and Maharashtra stalwart having played 191 first-class matches and taken 500 wickets and scored 8880 runs.
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