Vasoo Paranjape passes away

Renowned cricket coach Vasoo Paranjape, who mentored Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma, passed away on Monday.

Vasoo Paranjape passed away in Mumbai on Monday.   -  THE HINDU ARCHIVES

Vasudev, alias Vasoo, Paranjape — a former First Class cricketer who mentored numerous greats of the game — passed away at his home here on Monday afternoon after a prolonged illness. He was 82.

Paranjape’s career as a cricketer was restricted to 29 appearances for Mumbai from 1956 to 1970. But it was his great cricketing acumen, ability to mentor cricketers and an uncanny knack to motivate young and veterans alike that elevated him into the stature of one of the greatest guides of the game in Indian cricket.

 

It was apt that his son Jatin — a former India batter and a national selector — titled a book on his father that he co-authored with Anand Vasu as “The Cricket Drona — for the love of Vasoo Paranjape” last year.

From Sunil Gavaskar to Rohit Sharma, from Dilip Vengsarkar to Rahul Dravid, from Sachin Tendulkar to Ramesh Powar and from Anil Kumble to W.V. Raman, hundreds of international cricketers benefited from Paranjape’s timely advice at different junctures in their career.

While Gavaskar, who was given the nickname ‘Sunny’ by Paranjape, referred to him in the book as the “conscience keeper” of every cricketer that turned up on the Mumbai maidans, Rohit has narrated how Paranjape was instrumental in Rohit being selected in the Mumbai U-17 squad for the first time. Kumble’s letter to Paranjape as a teenager has also been reproduced in the book.

He was the coach of India Under-19 for the inaugural Youth World Cup in 1988, with the squad including the likes of M. Senthilnathan, Pravin Amre, Nayan Mongia, Narendra Hirwani, Venkatapathy Raju and Subroto Banerjee.

Besides being a mentor, Paranjape was a cricket romantic and would be ready to be involved in a discussion with cricketers and connoisseurs alike until his health deteriorated over the last few years.

Paranjape is survived by wife Lalita, two daughters and son Jatin and their extended families.

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