87 year Old Living Legend Of India

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87 year Old Living Legend Of India

Postby Misty » Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:59 am

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/conte ... 93291.html

The tall and elegant 87-year-old met me with a broad smile as he gingerly, yet without assistance, descended the small flight of stairs into the drawing room of his family home in Ahmedabad.

Thanks to my acquaintance with his niece, Manisha Shodhan Basu, I was visiting her beloved "kaka", Roshan Harshadlal Shodhan, better known as Deepak Shodhan.
"DK is younger to me by 15 days," he said when I told him I was privileged to be meeting India's oldest living Test cricketer. DK is Dattajirao Krishnarao Gaekwad, father of the former Test opener and later coach Anshuman. Gaekwad, who played 11 Tests for India, captaining the side in a disastrous series in England in 1959, was born on October 27, 1928, nine days after Shodhan.

"You know, apart from DK and me, I've counted at least six other old Indian Test cricketers - [CD] Gopinath, [Madhav] Apte, Bapu Nadkarni, Nari Contractor, [Chandu] Borde and Salim [Durani]. There are apparently 11 of us Indian Test players over 80, although I can't recall the names of the others," Shodhan said.
There are 12 Indian Test cricketers over 80 who are alive today, the others being Chandrakant Patankar, Sadashiv Patil, VV Kumar and Prakash Bhandari. I told Shodhan that India's oldest living first-class cricketer had passed away in February at the age of 99 - BK Garudachar played for, and later captained, Mysore - and asked him if he had ever known Garudachar or any of the other well-known Mysore cricketers of that era.

"Most of my domestic cricket with the South Indian teams was against Madras and their players, so I know them quite well," Shodhan said. "[Gopalaswamy] Kasturirangan is the one Mysore cricketer I remember and know well. He was selected with me for the first Indian tour of the West Indies in 1953, but he declined the invitation. N Kannayiram from Madras came instead."

Shodhan had already made his Test debut before the tour to West Indies. "I was in the reserves for the series against Pakistan in 1952-53, the historic first Test series between our two newly independent nations. In the final Test match, at Calcutta, I was drafted into the playing XI after our captain Vijay Hazare pulled out unwell. It was Lala Amarnath, who was captaining India in Vijay Hazare's absence, who asked for me to be brought in - 'that tall Gujarati boy who had done so well in the trials and other matches'."

"I was unusual, you know - a left-handed batsman and a left-arm medium-pacer" Walking in at 179 for 6, Shodhan made 110 to give India a lead of 140, becoming the first Indian batsman to score a century in the first innings of his first Test.

"Two of the earlier batsmen threw their wickets away going for big shots. Denying me a hundred was the reason. But [Dattu] Phadkar was a great guy, unlike many of his Bombay team-mates, and we had a good partnership. For the last wicket, the mild gentleman cricketer from Hyderabad, Ghulam Ahmed, supported me right through to my century. We were lucky to have had Lala as the captain. He was an attacking captain and he always maintained contact with the players, spoke to them. Unlike Vijay Hazare, a great batsman, but not fit for the captaincy - he was too mild, defensive and would not talk to the players."

As his ESPNcricinfo profile notes, after this debut, Shodhan was "immediately hailed as a bright new star on the Indian batting horizon". So it was baffling that he played only two more Tests.

"I loved playing cricket. My first-class career stretched on to 1962, ten years after I played my last Test match.
"Winning the Ranji Trophy in 1957-58 was the highlight of my later career. I had moved in 1956 from playing for Gujarat to Baroda. We beat the Services in the final that year. DK was captain, but the man who called all the shots was the Maharaja, Fatehsinghrao Gaekwad, in terms of team selection and batting order. Neither of them, DK or Fatehji, were great players - look at their records - but they ensured they and several other players who would not have otherwise made it to the team on the basis of their performance, were picked - I mean, look at 'Mama' [Jayasinghrao] Ghorpade!"

Shodhan's scintillating performance in the Calcutta Test got him picked for the tour of the West Indies. "The sea journey was horrible; it was a small boat, without much ballast, so it kept rolling and tossing, and almost all of us were sick."

I asked Shodhan about his first-class debut, against Kathiawar in 1946-47. "I took four wickets in the first innings, three in the second. The rest were all taken, I think, by [Vinoo] Mankad

Shodhan did not get along with Indian allrounder Vinoo Mankad and did not play any Tests under his captaincy
"I was unusual, you know - a left-handed batsmen and a left-arm medium-pacer," Shodhan said, lifting his left arm over his shoulder and spinning an imaginary ball out with his middle and index fingers.

"My brother, Jyotindra, who is a few years senior to me and still alive, was a much better cricketer than me."
At this juncture, Shodhan's wife of 62 years, Gauri, interjected to say that Jyotindra should have been selected to play for India and that Deepak's selection was by chance. In fact, Jyotindra scored his maiden first-class century, the first of only two centuries he made in 35 matches, in that game against Kathiawar.
The junior Shodhan's brief Test career coincided with his promotion to captain of Gujarat. "I became the captain in the 1952-53 season, when Nari Contractor made his debut for Gujarat. What a debut that was! Against a strong Baroda team, Nari scored a century in both innings. I was with him playing when he got the second. I scored a century too."

Another match in which Contractor and Shodhan batted together and scored hundreds was against a Commonwealth XI for Indian Universities in 1953-54 in Bangalore. Shodhan remembered the match for CK Nayudu's administrative skills.

"He was no good as an administrator or selector, nor did he have any real good performances on the Test field. Look at his record," Shodhan said. "Nayudu was the team manager or selector, I can't remember, and he was there deciding the batting order [in Bangalore]. He would make these on-the-spur decisions, and he asked Nari to open. Nari refused, saying he was a specialist No. 3. So there I was, a lower-order batsman and bowler, asked to open the batting by Nayudu! Nari and I scored centuries in the second innings and we shared a wonderful partnership. I remember Raman Subba Row from that series."

Shodhan was a fine cricketer who had an impeccable, although brief, record in Test matches, and a consistent set of performances against touring teams and in the Ranji Trophy. Why was he discarded so soon and so unceremoniously without being given a fair shot? "Politics," said Shodhan. And, in his case, it was also due to his run-in with India's first celebrity cricketer, Mankad.

"When I got into the Indian team, he asked me whether I chose to support him or Vijay Hazare. I told him I support India and the team. That ticked him off. After the West Indies tour, our manager, C Ramaswamy, is supposed to have written against me in his report. I have never held anything against him, Mankad or anyone else for not having played more for India."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Last edited by Misty on Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:20 am, edited 3 times in total.
1980 Zimbabwe's D.Ebrahim scored 3 scores of 71 in side 4 test which followed with 94 in the next test.he was pramote to vice captain of Zimbabwe.

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Re: 87 year Old Living Legend Of India

Postby GpeL » Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:15 am

Which one? And how many pop ups, pop unders and otherwise advertisements of ANY kind does it have?

You must know how many we have right? Except cross links for members there are none and infact excepting a few that are genuine, I think the rest ought to be removed unless there is some reason for them to exist.. But since they are non intrusive and just stay in the bottom of the index/opening page etc, we have not really bothered about it.

Tell me the above stats for the 'forum/s' above us and then we can think of more ways.

We were once top in the google search thanks to Mark and his SEO but now since he left that has stopped..

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Re: 87 year Old Living Legend Of India

Postby GpeL » Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:17 am

This part I was talking about.. bottom of perhaps every screen..


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Re: 87 year Old Living Legend Of India

Postby GpeL » Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:53 am

atul=squarecut here.

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Re: 87 year Old Living Legend Of India

Postby GpeL » Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:30 am

The forum started in 2005 not 2008

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Re: 87 year Old Living Legend Of India

Postby Going South » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:21 pm

we need to revisit and remove all the links that are not from current regular posters. No freebees for anybody whatsoever.

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Re: 87 year Old Living Legend Of India

Postby GpeL » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:27 pm

Naa let it be GS.. its ok if someone gets a little bit of exposure through CF its alright.. Just that we don't want spammers along. Let those old guys get whatever milage they can get.. it is not like prominently visible.. it is unintrusively at the bottom of every page and taht is about it.

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Re: 87 year Old Living Legend Of India

Postby Boycs » Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:51 pm

Mines already gone peaceful, belatedly I think perhaps it was poor taste all round, both you and I. I'm happy to apologise

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Re: 87 year Old Living Legend Of India

Postby Going South » Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:53 pm

Update my bottom? Sure. I bought new underwear.

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Re: 87 year Old Living Legend Of India

Postby GpeL » Sun Apr 03, 2016 2:55 am

My bottom.. or the other half.. (the remaining half being the top)..is quite unupdateable.. readonly..