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Vasant Raiji, India’s oldest first-class cricketer, passes away at 100

by Wisden Staff 1 minute read
Pic courtesy: BCCI

Vasant Raiji, the former Bombay and Baroda first-class player, passed away in Mumbai on Saturday. He was 100.

Raiji was the oldest Indian first-class player, having represented Bombay and Baroda in a decade-long career that was interrupted by the second World War.

“He (Raiji) passed away at 2.20am in his sleep at his residence in Walkeshwar in south Mumbai due to old-age,” his son-in-law Sudarshan Nanavati was quoted as saying by PTI.

Raiji, who turned 100 in January, made his first-class debut for the Cricket Club of India against Central Provinces and Berar in Nagpur in 1939, and though he didn’t fare well himself, scoring a duck and 1*, he did play alongside the likes of CK Nayudu, Lala Amarnath, Vijay Hazare and Mushtaq Ali.

Raiji scored 277 runs in nine first-class matches, after which he decided to pursue a career in chartered accountancy. However, his passion for cricket never wavered.

He authored several books on the sport, and founded the Jolly Cricket Club in the 1930s, alongside Anandji Dossa, a well-known statistician of the last 20th century.

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