Ladhabhai Nakum Amar Singh
December 04, 1910, Rajkot, Gujarat
May 21, 1940, Jamnagar, Gujarat, (aged 29y 169d)
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
Alfred High School
"There is no better bowler in the world today than Amar Singh,'' said Len Hutton in an informal chat with pressmen at Madras in 1970. It was 34 years since the legendary England opening batsman had faced the Indian medium pace bowler while playing for Yorkshire. And it is the perfect tribute to Amar Singh that Hutton still remembered the hard time that the Indian, then a member of the 1936 Indian team, gave him. Another England great Wally Hammond described Amar Singh's bowling as "he came off the pitch like the crack of doom". Indeed, Amar Singh, along with Md Nissar was the first great Indian bowler for his accuracy, stamina and ability to make the ball move alarmingly off the air or cut it devastatingly off the pitch. He played in all the seven Tests before the war. In the first Test in 1932 he took four wickets and hit an attacking 51, coming in at No 9. Against England in 1933-34, he was the country's best bowler taking four for 106 off 54.5 overs in the second Test at Calcutta. In the final Test at Madras, in the absence of Nissar, he had to work overtime and rose to the occasion with a bag of seven for 86 off 44.4 overs in the first innings. Going in at No. 4, he scored a hard hitting 48. Amar Singh was however at his best in England where the conditions suited him. In 1932, he took 111 wickets (20.78) and made 641 runs (22.89) in the first class matches. By 1936 he was a popular Lancashire League professional and was released only for a few games for the Indian touring team. In the first Test, he took 6 for 35 in the first innings. In the second Test he again displayed his batting prowess by hitting an unbeaten 48 to help India draw the game. In the final Test at the Oval he scored a valuable 44 going in at No. 4 thus proving beyond doubt that he could be classified as an allrounder. At home, he was at his best against Lord Tennyson's team in 1937-38 when he bagged 36 wickets (16.66) in the five unofficial Tests. In a short but brilliant Ranji Trophy career for Western India and Nawanagar he took 105 wickets at 15.56 apiece.
He died in 1940 at the age of 29 after a fever contracted after a long swim developed into typhoid.
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