AJIT WADEKAR complete information

AJIT WADEKAR complete information

AJIT WADEKAR

 

India

Personal Information

Born Apr 01, 1941 (77 years)

Birth Place Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra

Height 77 years

Role

Batting Style Left Handed Bat

ICC Rankings

 

Career Information

Teams

Mumbai, India

A successful batsman, India’s first superstar captain and later a highly respected coach.

Batting Career Summary

M Inn NO Runs HS Avg BF SR 100 200 50 4s 6s
Test 37 71 3 2113 143 31.07 2423 87.21 1 0 14 217 2
ODI 2 2 0 73 67 36.5 90 81.11 0 0 1 11 0

Bowling Career Summary

M Inn B Runs Wkts BBI BBM Econ Avg SR 5W 10W
Test 37 7 61 55 0 0/0 0/0 5.41 0.0 0.0 0 0

Profile

A successful batsman, India’s first superstar captain and later a highly respected coach, a selector and the team manager, Ajit Wadekar is in one rare club of players who’ve donned most hats when it comes to Indian cricket and the administration around it.

One of the best Indian left-handers to have ever played the game, Wadekar was an accidental product in cricket. Studying to pursue a career in engineering, he impressed his college’s coach as the twelfth man with his skills, leading to a promotion to the bigger league. After his debut for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy in 1958-59, he notched up a string of impressive performances. But it took him eight long years of toil in the domestic circuit to finally be picked up for the national side.

Once an India cap followed, it didn’t take him long to establish himself as one of the most dependable players, anchoring the innings at number three and also as one of the safest slip catchers of that era. But the biggest feather in his hat, and what he’s most likely to be remembered for, is his leadership in 1971 that took India to their first ever series wins in the West Indies and in England.

The then selector, Vijay Merchant saw potential in Wadekar’s abilities and picked him to replaced MAK Pataudi as India’s captain. His strategies to rotate the spin-quartet, the decision to impose the follow-on against the mighty Windies that deflated them mentally for their next game were such key moments where Wadekar’s captaincy stood out. He capped this up with another victory against England, this time at home in 1972-73. All this was despite his personal form slumping since he took over as skipper, but the victories were good enough to camouflage.

The honeymoon period, however, came down crashing rather prematurely in the ‘English Summer of 42’ in 1974, where India’s thrashing involved them getting all-out for 42 in an innings at Lord’s, after having arrived in England as arguably the best side in world cricket.

In what was a trend in Indian cricket, the skipper was made the scapegoat for the defeat and Wadekar was axed from the side. He immediately announced his retirement from international cricket.

He returned to the cricketing fold in the early 1990s as the manager-cum-coach of the Indian side and forged a solid partnership with Mohammad Azharuddin, during a successful phase for Indian cricket. In 2007, he was one of the many cricketers who joined the rebel Indian Cricket League (as a match referee), but soon returned back to the BCCI fold in 2009. In 2011, he was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the annual BCCI ceremony.

Despite his telling achievements, a tag that stuck with him was that of a ‘lucky skipper’, primarily because it was believed that he rode on the success of the platform laid by his predecessor, MAK Pataudi. Nevertheless, many of his contemporaries have always praised his shrewd thinking and his tactical genius.

Career

Early life and introduction to cricket

Born in Bombay, Wadekar’s father wished him to study Mathematics so that he could become an engineer, but Wadekar instead preferred to play cricket. He made his first-class debut for Bombay in 1958–59, before making his international debut in Test in December 1966, against the West Indies at the Brabourne Stadium in Bombay. After that he became a part of the regular team, and went on to play 37 Test matches for India between 1966 and 1974, generally batting at number three.

 

Captaincy and overseas wins

Wadekar was appointed the captain of Bombay, and soon was made the captain of the Indian cricket team in 1971, leading a side that included players like Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Viswanath, Farokh Engineer, and the Indian spin quartet that included Bishen Bedi, E.A.S. Prasanna, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan. India won over five matches in the West Indies in the early 1970s, and then defeated England over three. He led India to a third successive series victory, beating England cricket team again, 2–1 in a five-match series in 1972–73.

 

Wadekar continued to be the captain of the Indian team that toured England in 1974. He represented India in its first ever One Day International (ODI) game during that tour. Batting at number three, Wadekar made 67 runs, but still ended on the losing side. He scored 73 runs in his ODI career at an average of 36.50 with a strike rate of 81.11. Following India’s dismal performance in the series, he retired from international cricket. After that tour Wadekar played just one more First-class match before retiring from all forms of cricket.

 

Post retirement

Wadekar also served as the manager of the Indian cricket team in the 1990s, alongside Captain Mohammad Azharuddin. He is one of the few Indians to represent the country as Test player, captain, coach/manager and the chairman of selectors. Lala Amarnath and Chandu Borde are the only other players to achieve this distinction.

 

Death

On 15 August 2018, Wadekar died due to illness at Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai, at the age of 77. On 17 August, he was cremated with full state honours in the Shivaji Park crematorium in Mumbai. Many cricketers, as well as cricket fans in large numbers, attended his funeral.

 

Awards and honours

Wadekar was honoured with the Arjuna Award, instituted by the Government of India to recognise sporting talents. In 1972, he received the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour. Other awards include CK Nayudu Lifetime achievement award Sportsperson of the Year, and the Castrol Lifetime Achievement award.

Ajit Wadekar married with Rekha

 

Family Life

His father wanted him to study mathematics and become a mathematician. He married Rekha Wadekar.

 

Early life and introduction to cricket

Born in Bombay, Wadekar’s father wished him to study Mathematics so that he could become an engineer, but Wadekar instead preferred to play cricket. He made his first-class debut for Bombay in 1958–59, before making his international debut in Test in December 1966, against the West Indies at the Brabourne Stadium in Bombay. After that he became a part of the regular team, and went on to play 37 Test matches for India between 1966 and 1974, generally batting at number three.

 

Captaincy and overseas wins

Wadekar was appointed the captain of Bombay, and soon was made the captain of the Indian cricket team in 1971, leading a side that included players like Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Viswanath, Farokh Engineer, and the Indian spin quartet that included Bishen Bedi, E.A.S. Prasanna, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan. India won over five matches in the West Indies in the early 1970s, and then defeated England over three. He led India to a third successive series victory, beating England cricket team again, 2–1 in a five-match series in 1972–73.

 

Wadekar continued to be the captain of the Indian team that toured England in 1974. He represented India in its first ever One Day International (ODI) game during that tour. Batting at number three, Wadekar made 67 runs, but still ended on the losing side. He scored 73 runs in his ODI career at an average of 36.50 with a strike rate of 81.11. Following India’s dismal performance in the series, he retired from international cricket. After that tour Wadekar played just one more First-class match before retiring from all forms of cricket.

 

Post retirement

Wadekar also served as the manager of the Indian cricket team in the 1990s, alongside Captain Mohammad Azharuddin. He is one of the few Indians to represent the country as Test player, captain, coach/manager and the chairman of selectors. Lala Amarnath and Chandu Borde are the only other players to achieve this distinction.

 

Death

On 15 August 2018, Wadekar died due to illness at Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai, at the age of 77. On 17 August, he was cremated with full state honours in the Shivaji Park crematorium in Mumbai. Many cricketers, as well as cricket fans in large numbers, attended his funeral.

 

Awards and honours

Wadekar was honoured with the Arjuna Award, instituted by the Government of India to recognise sporting talents. In 1972, he received the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour. Other awards include CK Nayudu Lifetime achievement award, Sportsperson of the Year, and the Castrol Lifetime Achievement award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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