Umesh Kumar 1951-2008 September 21, 2008

Former Punjab captain Umesh Kumar dies

Cricinfo staff

Umesh Kumar, the former Punjab captain and offspinner, died of a heart attack in Patiala on Sunday evening. He was 56 and was serving as a selector for the Punjab state side.

Kumar played 67 first-class games for Punjab between 1969 and 1986 and took 191 wickets at 20.69. He played three matches for North Zone, including one against the touring Australians in 1979-80.

His four wickets in the match included those of Allan Border and Dav Whatmore. Kirti Azad, the former Indian allrounder, who also played in the match, said Kumar had come to the match on the back of a lot of hard work. He had taken 6 for 79 against Haryana in Punjab's previous game. "Kumar was a good competitor, down to earth, overall a very nice gentleman," Azad told Cricinfo.

After retirement he took up umpiring, starting off with matches in Pakistan in 1987, and was the third umpire in an India-Sri Lanka Test in Mohali in 1997.