India news June 5, 2013

Former Kerala captain Balan Pandit dies

ESPNcricinfo staff

Former Kerala captain and junior national selector M Balan Pandit has died in Ernakulam, Kerala on June 5, aged 86.

A wicketkeeper-batsman, Pandit began playing first-class cricket in 1946 and represented Kathiawar, Kerala and Travancore-Cochin. In a career spanning 46 first-class matches, Pandit scored 2,317 runs including five hundreds at an average of 29.70.

He was a wicketkeeper for Kathiawar in the match against Maharashtra, in December 1948, when Bhausaheb Nimbalkar scored an unbeaten 443 runs, the highest first-class score by an Indian batsman.

In a Ranji Trophy match in 1959 against Andhra, his 14th for Kerala, Pandit scored an unbeaten 262, which was the record individual score for Kerala before Sreekumar Nair hit a triple century against Services in 2007.

As a wicketkeeper, he completed 35 catches and three stumpings during his first-class career.

As an administrator, Pandit was a member of India's junior selection committee and was also the chairman of Kerala's selection committee. He also served as vice-president of Kerala Cricket Association.

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  • sportofpain on June 5, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    RIP Balan Pandit. I have fond memories of you Sir. You were the manager of the Kerala Under 15 team in 1979 and you took a particular fondness to me. You once told me 'I'll make you play for India". Haven't been in touch for over 30 years but I remember your kindness and encouragement when as a 12 year old I battled hard to save a game for Kerala against Hyderabad. I also remember the time when you batted in the nets (Swanson Cricket Club) when you were in your 50's - you punched one ball off the back foot and it crashed into the metal pole that held up the nets. A small tribute to a good man.