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Commentator Suresh Saraiya dies aged 76

ESPNcricinfo staff

July 18, 2012

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Radio commentator Suresh Saraiya, who died on July 18, 2012
Suresh Saraiya: commentated on India's Tests from 1969 to 2011 © Mid Day
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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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 07sanjeewakaru on (July 20, 2012, 18:40 GMT)

I'm a SriLankan from rural village near Kandy.I've been listening AIR commentary via SW and AM since 1999 IND/PAK series where Kumble got all 10 wickets.When IND chase 317 in 2007 in England one of ODI's he only said India win and then silence for few seconds.Miss him.May you attain nibbana.

Posted by 07sanjeewakaru on (July 20, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

I'm a SriLankan from rural village near Kandy.I've been listening AIR commentary via SW and AM since 1999 IND/PAK series where Kumble got all 10 wickets.When IND chase 317 in 2007 in England one of ODI's he only said India win and then silence for few seconds.Miss him.May you attain nibbana.

Posted by Sarangarajan on (July 20, 2012, 9:35 GMT)

It was the voice of the likes of Suresh Saraya, Anad setelward,Dicky Ratnagar,Asish ray which described the game of Cricket to youngsters of the era of radio commentary only as the means to enjoy the game.We simply used to sit around our home radios and transistors later to listen to them. At times we used to be awake till 2.30 in the early mornings to listen to description of the matches in West indies.Surseh Saraya was unique in his mellow voice.Often I wondered if he was describing the match with severe cold. Such was his voice- soft, clean and eloquent .He always used to describe the game instead of thrusting expert opinions.Even the description of the fall of Indian wickets was somber and soothing.His English and his way of describing the match with anecdotes and fun was unique. We shall miss you on air of AIR.- Surseh Saraya Sir.We pray for your soul to rest in peace .

Posted by   on (July 20, 2012, 9:07 GMT)

I was listening to his commentry since 1971. Great Voice !!!! It is shocking news to me. In 1979 when Ind toured Aus under capt of Bedi I used to get up @ 5AM switch on the radio & listen to his commentry. Sureshji was teamed with other great commentators like Anand Stalwad, Balualaganand, Chandu Sarwate, Late Lalji,& even with the WI commentator Tony Cozier when WI toured Ind in 1795-76 under the capt of Clive Hurbet Lloyd. My deep condlenses to his family members & His Soul Rest in Peace.

Posted by   on (July 20, 2012, 3:57 GMT)

RIP Suresh Saraiya! What stood out in his commentary were 1) his fund of knowledge expressed through the endless stream of tidbits he shared, and 2) his non-stop 'breathless' style of delivery. Hearing him was like reading a sentence from Nehru's Discovery of India - one long sentence at the end of which you dont know where it actually started. He was one of the few Indian commentators who could paint a word picture that made radio commentary appear as close as it cd to tv.

Posted by SouthPaw on (July 20, 2012, 3:47 GMT)

Sad news coming in multiples :( I grew up listening to Suresh Saraiya and he was easily in the same class as others like Benaud, Tony Cozier, Christopher Martin Jenkins, John Arlott, etc. May his souls RIP.

Posted by ambujkumar on (July 20, 2012, 2:24 GMT)

i can recall he was so good and energetic in radio commentary. i used to listen to radio commentary when i was a kid. i heard him first in 1998. RIP sir.

Posted by PratUSA on (July 19, 2012, 20:25 GMT)

I first heard Suresh Saraiya (and Harsha Bhogle as well), on India's historic 1992-93 tour of South Africa. It was the finest quality of radio commentary I had heard and I became fan of both the commentators. May he rest in peace.

Posted by   on (July 19, 2012, 16:13 GMT)

i still remember him as a commentator who went to South Africa when Indian team toured there for first time in 1992-93. He did radio commentary in all the four test along with Harsha Bhogle.Never forget his voice with typical accent. Rest in Peace...

Posted by ibbani on (July 19, 2012, 14:54 GMT)

such as known name - @rav_hari - it is Gundappa Rangappa Vishwanath. rest in peace MrSuresh Settlawada.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (July 19, 2012, 14:47 GMT)

My deep condolences to his family. He has died but his commentary will never die. Sir, we miss you. RIP.

Posted by ravi_hari on (July 19, 2012, 13:43 GMT)

When radio commentary was at its best the team of Ashish Ray, Dicky ratnagar, Anat Sithalvad, Suresh Saraiyya and experts from Lala was really music to ears. We used to flock around the radio to listen to their commentary. Each one had his own style. One of the cleanest voices and clear pronounciation was from Sureshji. The uniqueness of his commentary was that he often used to address players with full names like - Sunil Manohar Gavaskar, Gudappa Ramnath Vishwanath, Ravishankar Jaydit Shastri, Kapil Dev Nikhanj, etc. In fact most of the full names I have learnt are because of Sureshji. I have won a couple of quiz questions because of this knowledge. It was a pleasant voice and his description of the happenings on the field have been very true to life. One could actually see it happening in front of our eyes when Sureshji was commenting. It was unfortunate that we could not use his services on TV but to old timers his voice will echo for ever. Rest in Peace Sureshji.

Posted by sudhirrao on (July 19, 2012, 13:01 GMT)

Sad, I wish someone would upload a piece of his commentary...

Posted by   on (July 19, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

suresh saraiya sir..rest in peace..

Posted by   on (July 19, 2012, 11:35 GMT)

Good Bye Sureshji, your voice made us watch cricket live without television. You have left a vaccum its a big loss!!

Posted by Allzwell on (July 19, 2012, 7:07 GMT)

When there was no live coverage of the game and we only had to listen to radio commentary and when Suresh Saraiya came on the mike one felt as if he was watching the game live. So perfect and detailed his commentary was that I thought he had no competetion. And if one remembers his punch line 'There is no doubt about it' ,Yes Sureshbhai you were one of the best and ' There is no doubt about it' May your soul rest in peace.

Posted by veerakannadiga on (July 19, 2012, 6:27 GMT)

really sad news. we grew up listening to him on our pocket transistors.Those who have heard him, just cannot forget the way he narrated the historical port of spain match which India won.RIP SS. GOD BLESS US ALL. AMEN.

Posted by SpeedCricketThrills on (July 19, 2012, 5:22 GMT)

My own interest in cricket as a young boy coincided with Saraiya's early days as a cricket commentator. Yes, there was Setalvad, Talyarkhan, Merchant, Rutnagur ... but it was Suresh Saraiya's voice, style, diction, delivery and not to forget most importantly - the many many interesting anecdotes that would come with his commentary. Sad that television occupied center stage and I don't remember having seen him even once on TV.

He brought life to cricket even in the dullest of matches. My fondest memories are of the India-West Indies series when Lloyd brought his team to India and WI managed a 3-2 series win after being 2-0 up only to be levelled by the heroics of Chandrasekhar and Vishwanath in Eden Gardens and Chepauk tests

May his soul rest in peace

Posted by wasim_007 on (July 19, 2012, 5:10 GMT)

Felt said after knowing the demise of one of the best commentator...He was the most recognized voice in panel I still can imagine "over to suresh sarriya"...The passion...the energy...never took cricket as his professional he worked as he is dying for cricket...Great loss to cricket....but only who listen All India Radio commentary can know the value of this legendary commentator...one of my and millions of remote villagers favorite ....RIP..

Posted by mehulmatrix on (July 19, 2012, 4:23 GMT)

Nice posting from cricinfo. People behind the scenes without much limelight also play their part. I have heard about him, but didn't know he was so well respected and known in cricketing community. May his legacy continue.

Posted by dilscoop on (July 19, 2012, 2:38 GMT)

Very sad to hear about this on the same day movie legend rajesh khanna passed away - his voice was made for radio - still remember his & ravi chaturvedi's commentary from india's twin tour of NZ & WI in 1976 - when india chased down 406 to win a test in WI - sneaking in those pocket transistors with ear phones to class rooms to hear his commentary. some of his favourite rhetorics "Methodically and correctly", "down to deep long leg", "In once more" & "there can be no run" and loved the way he used to pronounce the name of WI spinner "Raphick Jumadeen". Like Rajesh Khanna he never re-invented himself & stayed away from television for reasons best known to him. His knowledge of the game, his command over the language & his voice would have made him a bigger celebrity had he chosen to move to television.

Suresh Saraiya was a doyen among indian commentators in the same league as berry sarbadhikari, anand setalvad, narattom puri - his magical voice will be missed.

Posted by   on (July 18, 2012, 19:08 GMT)

Sad to hear about his loss, may his soul rest in eternal peace.

Posted by   on (July 18, 2012, 18:50 GMT)

Such an amazing speaker and commentator... I have learned alot for him.... Big loss...

Posted by   on (July 18, 2012, 17:37 GMT)

It was those days when I was in 8th or 9th standard I first got attracted to his voice. Dayz when we never heard of FM. days of pocket transistors. good bye suresh bhai

Posted by   on (July 18, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

to sad we miss u, suresh is saraiya is great commentater

Posted by   on (July 18, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

Rest in Peace Suresh Bhai, We lost a beautiful voice of the game - guess God wanted to hear it from you personally.

Posted by   on (July 18, 2012, 16:53 GMT)

oh, oh ,the legend commentator , i have listen a lot of commentery of this versatile cmntr. he was having such a vast knowledge of ckt , saddened on this news.

Posted by RAAJ101 on (July 18, 2012, 16:44 GMT)

HE WAS A GREAT COMMENTATOR. HE WAS A HOUSEHOLD NAME. WE WILL MISS HIM. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE

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