March 29, 1939, Banswara, Rajasthan
November 29, 2006, Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai, (aged 67y 245d)
Also Known As
Maharajkumar of Banswara
Right hand bat
Hanumant Singh lived regally and generously. He was born a prince and batted like one, though it enabled him to play only 14 Tests, which was too few for one with his abundant talent. Those of us who relished his association and friendship knew that Hanumant was always courteous, ever smiling and blessed with a delightful sense of humour. He detested bores and pretenders, though he was too gentle to tell them so. He kept clear of them.
He fulfilled many roles in the game, though he would have wanted an extended Test career. Who would not? He was magnanimous enough to say that what turned out to be his final Test - against New Zealand at Bombay in 1969-70 - was thrust upon him. "I was not at my best and was mentally not there."
Disillusionment had crept in after he had missed the twin tours to Australia and New Zealand in 1967-68. Perhaps too much was expected of him after scoring a century on his Test debut, against England in 1963-64 at Delhi; he never repeated the feat. He brought out the best in others. Another mild-mannered cricketer, the left-hander Ambar Roy, was among the reserves during the Bombay Test against New Zealand in 1964-65. Hanumant had been in indifferent form and Roy was told by the national selector from the East Zone that, if Hanumant failed in the second innings, he would be in for the next Test. Roy confided later: "I knew Hanumant was a better player and I hated the idea that I would replace him. I prayed for his success. He made an unbeaten 75."
Hanumant served as national selector, manager of the national side and was on the panel of ICC match referees.
Rajan Bala, The Wisden Cricketer
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