Former Test Opener Chetan Chauhan Passes Away (Corona)

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Former Test Opener Chetan Chauhan Passes Away (Corona)

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Former India opener Chetan Chauhan passes away

August 16 2020

In an international career lasting 12 years, Chauhan was an ideal foil at the top of the order to Sunil Gavaskar and the pair added more than 3000 Test runs.

Former India opener Chetan Chauhan, who was on life support due to multiple organ failure, passed away on Sunday. He was 73.

Chauhan had tested positive for Covid-19 in July, and his health worsened yesterday after he developed kidney failure. He was put on a ventilator at a local hospital in Gurugram, where he breathed his last on Sunday (August 16).

Chauhan represented India in 40 Tests and seven ODIs in an international career that spanned around 12 years. After his playing days, he took on various roles in the sport, as manager of the team as well as an administrator with the DDCA.
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Re: Former Test Opener Chetan Chauhan Passes Away (Corona)

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Former India player Chetan Chauhan on life support after renal failure


Since his retirement from the game, Chauhan has been active in various fronts - having served the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) in various roles like president, vice-president, secretary and chief selector. He has also served as the manager of the Indian cricket team and his tenure included memorable occasions such as the historic series win against Australia in 2001 as well as the 'Monkeygate' scandal during the 2007-08 tour down under.

Chauhan is also a minister in the Uttar Pradesh government and has previously been twice elected to the lower house of the parliament (Lok Sabha).
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Re: Former Test Opener Chetan Chauhan Passes Away (Corona)

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Overall, in a 179-match first-class career that went on till 1984-85, Chauhan scored 11,143 runs at an average of 40.22, with 59 half-centuries and 21 centuries. But while 16 of the 59 came in Test cricket, he finished with a zero in the centuries' column in the format, despite coming close on many occasions: he got to 80-plus seven times, on two of those occasions getting to 93 and 97. He held a dubious record - most Test runs without scoring a century - for many years before being topped by Shane Warne.

That record notwithstanding, Chauhan forged an immensely successful partnership with Gavaskar, the two putting on 3010 runs in 59 innings together, which was an Indian record till Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir went past the tally. The Gavaskar-Chauhan combine averaged 53.75 (superior to Sehwag-Gambhir's 52.52) and had ten century stands including a best of 213, which came in the second innings against England at The Oval in August 1979, Chauhan scoring 80 even as Gavaskar went on to score 221 and India reached 429 for 8 in a chase of 438.

But the most memorable image of Chauhan the international cricketer might still be from the time he was forced to walk off the MCG along with Gavaskar, his captain then, when the latter was left feeling hard-done-by by the umpire's decision to give him lbw off Dennis Lillee. It appeared that Gavaskar, already unhappy with the verdict, took umbrage when Lillee had a word or two to say to him as he walked off, and Gavaskar turned back, took Chauhan with him, and walked off, suggesting for a little while that India were forfeiting the game.

Chauhan, a gritty but occasionally dour batsman, wasn't quite as successful in the shorter formats, averaging 24.68 in a 26-match List A career, and 21.85 in the seven ODIs he player
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Re: Former Test Opener Chetan Chauhan Passes Away (Corona)

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Chetan was determination personified - Bishan Bedi

August 17 2020

"Who can even claim to have played second fiddle to the great Sunil Gavaskar"
'Thakur Saab' had immense courage and determination, but alas it was not enough to save him this time. His death from Coronavirus-related complications is a cruel blow to the cricket community. This pain will not end.

I spoke to him about a month ago, when Chetan was in hospital in Lucknow with the virus. He told me that he likely got it from his driver, and then proceeded to repeatedly assure me, "I'll fight it. I'll fight it." I believed him, for when has Chetan Chauhan not fought on the field of play?

Such assurances were typical of the man. He enjoyed such a gritty innings in cricket. He was not the prettiest opening batsman, far from it, but he found a way to cover up his numerous limitations quite adequately. He was determination personified, and that makes him one among the enduring characters of Indian cricket. It might not seem like much to say he played second fiddle as India opener, but how many can claim to have played second fiddle to the great Sunil Gavaskar?

There are numerous reasons why their partnership (11 century stands overall, 10 as opening pair) served India so well. Chauhan was never put there to take the spotlight away from Sunil, and he knew that. Somehow, he found a way to stay at the wicket and get behind the line of the new ball, even against the fiercest of pacers. Even when the Aussies would sometimes mock his abilities with a fly slip, Chetan would not flinch.

In the mid-1970s, he had been playing for Maharashtra and had been in and out of the India side when I convinced him to come to Delhi. Our fortunes, and that of North Zone, of which also I was captain, immediately took an upturn, culminating in our first Ranji Trophy title in the 1978-79 season, coinciding with some of Chetan's best years at the international level (in four years Delhi won the Ranji Trophy three times, also winning in 79-80, 81-82, and being runners-up in 1976-77 and 1980-81). I just wish he had got a Test ton too (Chauhan's highest was 97). He more than deserved it.

We had been looking for men with spine, and he fit the bill perfectly. We were a merry band, similar characters like Jimmy (Mohinder Amarnath), Madan Lal, Surender Amarnath, Vinay Lamba, Rakesh Shukla, Surender Khanna and Kirti Azad. We were on a roll. Of course, it was also the start of the Delhi and District Cricket Association's long history of run-ins between players and administrators, and I remember Chetan, me and the others even signed a memorandum and gave it to the DDCA authorities, complaining about the cricketing infrastructure. To this day, things haven't improved.

In later years, of course, he became a selector and then an administrator, and we had our differences. He had political ambitions, and we didn't always see eye to eye when it came to matters of Delhi cricket administration. We were teammates first, though, and he never forgot that. He beat the odds all the time, just not this time. RIP Chetan. You fought well.

As told to Partha Bhaduri

Ⓒ Cricbuzz
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Re: Former Test Opener Chetan Chauhan Passes Away (Corona)

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What Sunny says about his late partner Chetan?

Hard to believe his laughter won't be there next time I'm in Delhi - Gavaskar

August 17 2020

Chetan Chauhan, at his beloved Ferozeshah Kotla stadium.

"Aaja, aaja, gale mil[come, give me a hug], after all we are in the mandatory overs of life" was the usual greeting of my opening partner Chetan Chauhan whenever we met over the last two or three years. The meetings were invariably at his beloved Ferozeshah Kotla ground where he was in charge of the pitch preparation. As we hugged I would say to him that "no, no we must have another century partnership" and he would laugh and then say "arre baba you are the century maker, not me".

Never in my wildest nightmares could I believe that his words about being in the mandatory overs of life would come true so soon. It's so hard to believe that his laughter and cheerful banter won't be there the next time I go to Delhi.

Talking of centuries, I firmly believe that I was responsible for him missing out on two occasions, both in Australia in the 1980/81 series Down under. In the second Test in Adelaide he was on 97 when my teammates pulled me out of my chair in front of the TV and dragged me to the players balcony saying I must get there to cheer my partner.

I was a bit superstitious about watching from the players enclosure as then the batsman would get out and so would always watch on the dressing room TV. However, here I was in the Adelaide balcony when Dennis Lillee came in to bowl and would you believe Chetan was caught behind first ball.

The second occasion that I believe I was responsible for Chetan missing a hundred was when I lost my head after being abused by the Australians as I was leaving the pitch after a terrible decision. Trying to drag Chetan off the field with me must have disrupted his concentration and he was again out short of a century a little later.

There's one thing that few players of my generation and the one immediately after that don't know is his contribution in getting tax exemptions for them. Both of us first met up with the late Shri R Venkataraman, who was the finance minister of the country then and requested him to consider a tax exemption for fees received for playing for India. In this aspect, I must add that it wasn't just for cricket but for all sportspersons who played for India. We explained how when we were junior cricketers we had to spend a lot of money on equipment, travel, coaches, etc when we had no income at all.

Shri Venkatramanji was most considerate and in a notification he passed a ruling that gave us 75% standard deduction for a Test match fee then an exemption on 50% of the tour fees which we received before leaving for a tour. His desire to help others manifested in him joining politics and right till the end he was a giver, not a taker.

May your soul have everlasting peace, partner.
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Re: Former Test Opener Chetan Chauhan Passes Away (Corona)

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https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qg37in ... p=drivesdk

Gavaskar /Chauhan 53.75 average while posting 3000+ as openers in test -- 2nd best in Aggregate of runs among indian opener.
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