Monday, February 26, 2024

India’s oldest Test cricketer Dattajirao Gaekwad passes away at 95

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The Original DK of Indian cricket, Datta Gaekwad, played 11 Tests for India between 1952 and 1961

Former Indian skipper Dattajirao Gaekwad passed away in Vadodara on Tuesday, aged 95. He was survived by his son and former Indian coach Anshuman Gaekwad. The Original DK of Indian cricket, Datta Gaekwad, played 11 Tests for India between 1952 and 1961, but his stoic defense and the ability to drive the ball with so much aesthetics was so pronounced early in his career that it had made the Maharaja of Baroda instruct him to coach young players when Gaekwad, himself, was all of 12. 

“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,” BCCI said in a statement on X.

Even though Gaekwad made his Ranji debut in 1948 for Bombay University (as part of the unified province), he later went on to become a huge part of Baroda cricket. In his first year as Baroda captain, Gaekwad led the side to the title in 1957-58, beating Services at the Motibaug Stadium in Vadodara.

He later went on to shape the future of Baroda cricket with his tireless efforts and also served as the joint secretary of the Baroda Cricket Association in the late 1960s. 

“Under the shade of the banyan tree at the Motibag cricket ground, from his blue Maruti car, Indian captain D.K. Gaekwad sir tirelessly scouted young talent for Baroda cricket, shaping the future of our team. His absence will be deeply felt. A great loss for the cricketing community. #RIP #DKGaekwad,” Irfan Pathan wrote on X.

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