Nirmal Shekar, former Sportstar Editor, passes away

Nirmal Shekar was synonymous with The Hindu and Sportstar’s coverage of tennis, especially Wimbledon and he also reported extensively on big-ticket events like the Australian Open and Davis Cup.

Nirmal became synonymous with The Hindu and Sportstar’s coverage of tennis,especially Wimbledon and he also reported extensively on big-ticket events like the Australian Open and Davis Cup.

Nirmal Shekar, former Sports Editor of The Hindu and former editor of Sportstar, passed away here on Wednesday night. He was 60.

Nirmal, who was one of India’s most widely read sportswriters in a career that spanned more than three decades, joined The Hindu in 1980 and was with the institution till he retired on September 30, 2015. He became The Hindu’s Sports Editor in 2003 and took independent charge of Sportstar in early 2012. In the early 1980s, Nirmal studied in the United States on a fellowship. He was part of the visiting faculty in the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai.

Nirmal became synonymous with The Hindu and Sportstar’s coverage of tennis,especially Wimbledon and he also reported extensively on big-ticket events like the Australian Open and Davis Cup.

His despatches on tennis particularly, and on sport at large, evoked the big picture, dwelling on personalities of the sportspersons and the aesthetics of their game. His rich prose style had a legion of admirers. Many years ago, in an interview about his approach to writing, Nirmal said: “I don’t restrict myself to sports, but try and bring in a life’s perspective; try understanding the psychology of sports and fit sports into the wider context, rather than stick to the backhands and the cover drives alone!”

After his retirement, he remained a columnist with The Hindu. In his last published piece on January 28, Nirmal concluded with these lines: “But the truth is, nothing may be forever – except perhaps Bradman’s Test batting average of 99.94 – immune to evolution. And, sport is no exception.”

Nirmal is survived by his mother, wife, son and daughter. His funeral will take place on Thursday afternoon.

Here are some of his pieces, written for the magazine:

Read: >A tale of two legends

Read: >Epic journeys to surpassing greatness

Read: >The Davis Cup's special allure

Read: >Beckham and Kournikova: Celebs like no other

Read: >The Williams hegemony

Read: >Adios Andre

Read: >Schumi Supermacy

Read: >A tale of two giants

Read: >On the fast track to immortality

Read: >A legend's long march continues

Read: >India and the art of peaking

Read: >Roger Federer: where does he stand now?

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