India news August 17, 2011

Former India batsman Ramesh Saxena dies

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ramesh Saxena, the former India batsman, has died of a brain haemorrhage, in Jamshedpur at the age of 66. Saxena, who played one Test for India, in 1967, was serving as the secretary of the Bihar Jharkhand Cricket Association.

A teenage prodigy, Saxena began his first-class career with a century for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy at the age of just 16. He was a stalwart for Delhi for many years, and earned a call-up to the India side for the 1967 tour of England. He scored 238 runs on the tour but got scores of 16 and 9 in the only Test he played, at Headingley. He also toured Australia and New Zealand in 1967-68 but never played another Test.

He played 149 first-class matches, scoring 8155 runs with 17 centuries.

Former India cricketer Abbas Ali Baig described Saxena as an "an extremely elegant stroke player". "He played only one Test," Baig told the Times of India, "and that does not really reflect the quality of his batsmanship."

Bihar state-mate Daljit Singh said Saxena knew "almost instinctively when to step out and when to stay back in the crease". "Players from smaller Ranji sides hardly got a look-in then," Singh said. "If he had turned out for a bigger team, he might have played for at least 10 years for India."