India news December 22, 2011

Vasant Ranjane dies aged 74

ESPNcricinfo staff

Vasant Ranjane, a former India medium-pacer, has died in Pune at the age of 74. Ranjane played seven Tests for India between 1958 and 1964 and represented Maharashtra and Railways in first-class cricket from 1956 to 1971.

"He [Ranjane] was briefly ill and was admitted to Ruby Hall Clinic where he died," former Maharashtra opener Surendra Bhave told PTI.

Ranjane made a successful first-class debut in 1956-57, when he took 9 for 35 and 4 for 36 for Maharashtra against Saurashtra. He made his Test debut against West Indies two years later, but did not get a second game until 1961-62, when England toured India. He played two more Tests in that series and was taken on the 1962 tour of West Indies, where he played one game, the final Test at Kingston. He played only two more Tests, against England in Madras in 1963-64 and against Australia at the same venue a year later. He finished with 19 Test wickets at an average of 34.

Ranjane worked for Indian Railways as a fitter and retired in 1994.

Chandu Borde, who played first-class and Test cricket with Ranjane, remembered him as a bowler with excellent line and length. "We played for the same club, Vilas CC and Maharashtra," Borde said. "He [Ranjane] was a very fine bowler, one of the best pace bowlers the country has produced. His line and length was superb, he was always there on the spot. He used to produce a ball that came in and troubled all the top batsmen. I have seen top batsmen struggling against him. He would have been the ideal bowler in English conditions."

Sunil Gavaskar also paid tribute to Ranjane. "My deepest condolences are with his family. He was one of the finest new ball bowlers and did well in the limited opportunities he got," Gavaskar said. "He did pretty well, considering he bowled in an era, when spinners used to bowl more."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • srikanthan on December 23, 2011, 4:52 GMT

    I must have been 10-11 when I was given a colored book with photos and profiles of Indian and English cricketers, ( I don'r recall as to who it was published by). Vasant Ranjane and quite a few of the cricketers who played for India and England in the late 50 s and early 60 s were part of that. Could have been a release before/after an Ind- Eng series , not sure.

    Must have gone through that colored profile 100+times. Recall players like Vasant Ranjane , must have been one of those unsung and poorly paid cricketers who were pure amateurs pursueing the game for love of it and nothing else. May his soul Rest in peace

  • Dummy4 on December 23, 2011, 0:58 GMT

    Frank Worrell wrote in his autobiography that the only bowler they were uneasy about on the 1958 tour was Ranjane. They,therefore, attached him in the tour match against Maharashtra and got a few runs to show he was ineffective. The Indian selectors fell for this ruse. Ranjane would have been very effective in England in 1959 but lesser bowlers like Surendranath and Desai were preferred.

  • Dummy4 on December 22, 2011, 19:02 GMT

    RIP to him,he was a great servant of cricket.

  • Dummy4 on December 22, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    Deep regreta on death of Shri Ranjane... he was a great trier.May his soul rest in everlasting peace.

  • Dummy4 on December 22, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    RIP Ranjane Sir ! One would never forget you bowling with a spike from your old shoe constattly pricking your foot in the WI....

  • Dummy4 on December 22, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    Not many of today's generation will even be aware of the year 1959, The Test at Kanpur was known as the great Subhash Gupte's Test - he took 9 wickets for 102 with his magical leg spin against the mighty West Indies including Sobers, Kanhai, Basil Butcher, Gerry Alexander and Hall. The 10th wicket incidentally was taken by Ranjane who made his debut in that Test. Had Ranjane been born 30 years later, he would have taken many more wickets than the 19 he took in his seven Tests.May he find greater appreciation for his cricket skills in that eternal nirvana where all of us will ultimately meet.

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