India news July 18, 2012

Commentator Suresh Saraiya dies aged 76

ESPNcricinfo staff
28

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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 .

  • dummy4fb 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.

  • dummy4fb 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • dummy4fb 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...

  • ibbani on July 19, 2012, 14:54 GMT

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

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