Veteran cricket journalist Raju Bharatan passes away

Raju Bharatan was associated with the Illustrated Weekly of India for 42 years. He passed away on Friday following prolonged illness. He was 86.

Raju Bharatan

Raju Bharatan.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Noted film historian and cricket journalist Raju Bharatan passed away on Friday following a prolonged illness. He was 86.

Bharatan was associated with the Illustrated Weekly of India for 42 years. He retired as Assistant Editor, after having worked with stalwarts like Khushwant Singh, MV Kamat, Pritish Nandy and Anil Dharker.

During his long tenure with the Weekly, he produced two cricket specials which hit all-time high circulations of 4.05 lakh and 3.8 lakh. He was also a columnist for Sportstar and Indian cricket for many years.  He also directed "The Victory Story" (1974) the first full-length cricket documentary for Films Division. The film chronicled the first-ever victory of the Indian cricket team over England during the tour of 1972 and  ran to packed houses across the country on its release.

Known for his encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of cricket, Bharatan's film knowledge, too, was second to none, a passion he shared with his late film journalist wife, Girija Rajendran.

Son of A.S. Bharatan, the first General Manager of PTI, Bharatan authored six books, first of which was "Rivals in the Sun"(1952), followed by "Indian Cricket - The Vital Phase" (1977).

His film books include the highly controversial “Lata Mangeshkar - A Biography” (1995), “A Journey Down Melody Lane” (2009), “Naushadnama: The Life and Music of Naushad” (2013) and “Asha Bhosle- A Musical Biography” (2016).

This fun with the English language could also be heard when Bharatan gave voice to numerous cricket matches including Imran Khan's tour of India in 1978, bringing them to the common man's radio.

He is survived by his daughter, Shilpa; son-in-law, Sriganesh Iyer; and grandchildren Sucharita and Sachinshankar.

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