Deepak Shodhan, 87, passes away

Deepak Shodhan was the second Indian to score a century in his debut Test match. He scored 110 against Pakistan at the Eden Gardens in Calcutta on December 12, 1952.

Deepak Shodhan played three Tests, scored 181 runs at an average of 60.33.   -  Vijay Soneji

Former India international Deepak Shodhan passed away at his residence in Ahmedabad on Monday. He was 87.

"He had respiratory issues and died of a heart attack around 7 a. m. The entire Shodhan family was at his residence," said Gokul, son of Deepak Shodhan’s elder brother Jyotindra — who is 91 and lives in Ahmedabad.

Jyotindra, who played in the Ranji Trophy, is the oldest living Gujarat cricketer. A relative told Sportstar that Shodhan was diagnosed with cancer.

Shodhan, a left-hander, became famous after scoring a Test century in his debut innings against Pakistan at the Eden Gardens in Calcutta on December 12, 1952. He batted at No. 8 and faced the likes of Fazal Mahmood and Mahmood Hussain. He was batting on 91, when last man Ghulam Ahmed came in.

In an interview to Sportstar, Shodhan remembered the moment when he scored the century. He said: "I told Ghulam that I was very eager to score a century. There were other players in the Indian team who wanted Ghulam to throw his wicket, but Ghulam was a thorough gentleman. Only Lala Amarnath came out to applaud my effort."

After Lala Amarnath — who scored 118 in his second innnings against England at the Bombay Gymkhana on December 15, 1933 — Shodhan became the second Indian to score a century in his debut match.

He was included in the playing eleven after Vijay Hazare did not turn up for the Test in Calcutta. Shodhan played two more Test matches against the West Indies in Port of Spain and Kingston in 1953.

"I believe in destiny. I made my Ranji Trophy debut against Western India States Cricket Association (WISAC) or Kathiawar in Rajkot in January 1947 because Jasu Patel did not show up, fearing he would be called (for chucking) by one of the umpires. We were raised on matting wickets and there was no one to encourage players from Gujarat," Shodhan had said.

Shodhan played three Tests, scored 181 runs at an average of 60.33. He featured in 43 First-Class matches and scored 1,802 runs with a highest score of 261 and took 73 wickets.

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