India news July 18, 2012

Commentator Suresh Saraiya dies aged 76

ESPNcricinfo staff

Suresh Saraiya, the Indian radio commentator, has died aged 76 after a heart attack. Saraiya covered more than 100 Tests for All India Radio, for whom he worked for more than four decades.

The first Test he covered was in 1969 at the Brabourne Stadium, when India faced off against Bill Lawry's Australian team, and his last match was the Test against West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium last year, which was drawn with the scores level.

Commentator Harsha Bhogle was among those who paid tribute to Saraiya. "I worked with so many commentators - few with his desire and preparation. He loved cricket, did our Suresh bhai," he tweeted. "All India Radio was Suresh Saraiya's heart and soul. Was like a child when we broadcast from South Africa. He had tears that morning in Durban [South Africa's first home Test since 1970]."

Sanjay Manjrekar, the former India batsman, remembered Saraiya's hobby of collecting ties. "Shocking to hear about the passing away of Suresh Saraiya, cricket commentator... It's a sad day today," he tweeted. "Great passion for cricket commentary and an even greater passion to collect cricket ties... RIP Suresh bhai."

He wrote cricket columns in several Gujarati newspapers for more than a quarter of a century. Saraiya had also worked as a public relations officer in the Central Bank of India for 37 years.