BCCI condoles death of Ajit Wadekar

The Board of Control for Cricket in India paid glowing tributes to Wadekar, who passed away at the age of 77 in Mumbai.

The BCCI termed Ajit Wadekar as a shrewd leader. (File Photo)   -  Getty Images

From Erapalli Prasanna to Anil Kumble, the cricket fraternity mourned the demise of legendary India captain Ajit Wadekar and paid glowing tributes to the doyen of the game.

Wadekar passed away on Wednesday at the age of 77 following prolonged illness.

READ: Wadekar started a new era, says Prasanna

The BCCI on Thusday celebrated Wadekar's illustrious career while expressing its grief. The board, in a press release, said: "During India’s Tour of New Zealand in 1968, the left-handed top-order batsman was the highest scorer in both innings (80 and 71) of the opening Test that Indian won by five wickets. In the third Test at Wellington, he made 143 helping India secure their second victory in the series. India also won the fourth Test and lifted the four-match Test series 3-1, registering their first-ever overseas Test series win.

Wadekar represented India in 37 Tests and scored 2113 runs. He amassed a staggering 15380 first-class runs from 237 matches. He also led India in two ODIs and those were also the first two ODIs that India played. Post his playing career, Wadekar remained associated with the game and served Indian cricket in various capacities as coach, manager and Chairman of selectors.

The Government of India honoured him with the Arjuna Award in 1967 and Padma Shri in 1972. The BCCI had conferred him with the CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement award in 2011."

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BCCI Acting Secretary, Amitabh Choudhary, expressed his grief: "His demise has left a big void. First as a batsman and then as captain, he took Indian Cricket to new heights and then continued to contribute as a coach, manager, and chairman of selectors. The experience he gained during his playing days was used in man-management as coach and manager, overseeing a highly successful period."

BCCI CEO, Rahul Johri, too mourned his death by saying, "He will always be remembered as the Renaissance Man of Indian cricket. The West Indies and England were two extremely strong teams and beating them in their backyard was almost impossible. Wadekar’s inspiring leadership made it a glorious summer for Indian cricket. It instilled belief in everybody and Indian cricket has since made steady progress."