Full name Ashok Vinoo Mankad
Born October 12, 1946, Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra
Died August 1, 2008, Central Mumbai (aged 61 years 294 days)
Major teams India, Mumbai
Also known as Ashok Mulvantrai Mankad
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
|Test debut||India v New Zealand at Mumbai (BS), Sep 25-30, 1969 scorecard|
|Last Test||Australia v India at Sydney, Jan 7-12, 1978 scorecard|
|Only ODI||England v India at The Oval, Jul 15-16, 1974 scorecard|
|First-class span||1963/64 - 1982/83|
|List A span||1973/74 - 1982/83|
The tragedy of Ashok Mankad was that he never really enjoyed the confidence of the selectors, nor was he given a fixed place in the batting order. In his 22 Tests, spread over almost a decade, he went in anywhere between No. 1 and No 8. And quite often, he often played in only one Test of a series. This was a pity for Mankad possessed a wide range of strokes and even though he could never measure up to the level of his great father Vinoo Mankad, he did have the talent and class to run up better scores than his overall career figures suggest. He first came into prominence by scoring a half century as a teenager against the MCC for West Zone in 1963-64. A series of big scores over the years saw him get his break against New Zealand in 1969-70. He went in late in the order and then because of circumstances was pushed to the opening slot. He was an instant success in his new role against Australia, negotiating McKenzie and Connolly with ease and running up successive scores of 74, 8, 64, 68 and 97. He had a fair amount of success on the tour of West Indies in 1971, striking up a good combination with `new boy' Sunil Gavaskar with whom he shared partnerships of 68, 74, 72 and 123 (unbroken). But he failed in England in 1971 and thereafter a question mark hung over his Test career. Overlooked for the series against England in 1972-73, he played in only one Test against England in 1974 and again only in one Test against West Indies in 1974-75, always being shuttled up and down the order. He missed the dual tour of New Zealand and West Indies but was back for the series against New Zealand at home in 1976-77. He did well enough but was dropped and was again considered for only one Test against England later that season. He did reasonably well in the series in Australia in 1977-78 (he headed the tour averages with 508 runs at 50.80) but was not considered thereafter.
In first-class cricket however Mankad has been in a class of his own. In the Ranji Trophy alone, he has scored 6619 runs (76.08) with 22 hundreds with a highest score of 265 against Delhi in the 1980-81 final. He later took to coaching and took charge of Mumbai, Madhya Pradesh, Railways and Baroda. He died in his sleep in August 2008, aged 61.
Thirty years ago England were battered, bruised, broken and blackwashed in the Caribbean