Ajit Wadekar passes away; Tendulkar, others mourn untimely death

New Delhi [India], August 16: The cricket fraternity on Thursday mourned the death of the former Indian Test captain Ajit Wadekar.

Wadekar, who led the national team to their first-ever series victories in England and the West Indies, breathed his last at the age of 77 at the Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Describing the cricketer as someone who brought the best out of the 90s Indian team, Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar thanked the left-handed batsman for his advice and guidance.

“Deeply saddened to hear about the demise of Ajit Wadekar Sir. He was someone who was instrumental in bringing out the best in us during the 90s. We’ll always be grateful for his advice and guidance. Praying for strength for his family during this difficult time. RIP,” Tendulkar wrote on Twitter.

Terming the incident as a “sad moment for the Indian cricket”, India head coach Ravi Shastri tweeted, “Sad moment for Indian cricket to lose one of its most successful captains. Shrewd to the core. Condolences to the entire family #TeamIndia #RIPAjitWadekar.”

Former Indian batsman Mohammad Kaif also took to Twitter and extended condolences to Wadekar’s family.
“Shocked to hear about the demise Ajit Wadekar Sir!

My deepest condolences to his family and friends,” Kaif wrote.

“Deeply saddened by the passing away of #AjitWadekar He was more than a coach to the entire team – a father figure and a shrewd tactician. My heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones. He will be missed. Thank you Sir for the confidence shown in my ability!” tweeted former Indian coach and bowler Anil Kumble.

Wadekar, who was considered as India’s finest slip fielders and an aggressive left-hander, appeared in a total of 37 Tests and amassed 2,113 runs at an average of 31.07. He scored his sole century, an unbeaten 143 against New Zealand in 1968.

Born in Bombay, Wadekar made his first-class debut in 1958, while he played his first Test match against the West Indies in 1966.

In 1967, the Government of India bestowed Wadekar with the Arjuna Award. He also received the Padma Shri Award, the country’s fourth highest civilian honour, in 1972.