Former Indian cricket team captain and coach Ajit Wadekar passed away after suffering from prolonged illness at the Jaslok Hospital in Mumbai on Wednesday. He was 77-year-old. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and payed his tribute to Wadekar saying that he was "a great batsman and wonderful captain" who made a "rich contribution to Indian cricket".
Ajit Wadekar not only served as a coach but also contributed to the Indian Cricket as a manager and chairman of selectors for India. Current India head coach Ravi Shastri said it is "a sad moment for Indian cricket".
BCCI bid adieu to Ajit Wadekar with a heavy heart.
Born on 1 April 1941, Wadekar's father wished him to study Mathematics and take up engineering as a career, however, Ajit preferred to play cricket over anything else. Wadekar will be remembered for leading Team India to historic series win in England and the West Indies in 1971.
Ajit Wadekar made his debut in 1958 but had to wait eight years before making international debut in test in December 1966. One of India's greatest batsmen and finest slip fielders, Wadekar played 37 Tests, scoring 2,113 runs at an average of 31.07. However, he retired after a disastrous tour of England in 1974.
Wadekar rekindled his association with the Indian cricket team, this time serving as its coach from 1992 to 1996. He was one of the earliest full-time coaches. In 2007, however, Wadekar joined the rebel Indian Cricket League as a match referee but came back to the BCCI fold two years later. He went on to become the chairman of selectors.
Ajit Wadekar was awarded with the Arjuna Award in 1967 and with India's fourth highest civilian honour, Padma Shri, in 1972.