Nariman Jamshedji Contractor
March 07, 1934, Godhra, Gujarat
Left hand bat
Right arm medium
One of the tragic figures of Indian cricket, Nari Contractor's career was cruelly cut short when he was struck on the skull by a short delivery from Charlie Griffith in the Indian tourists' colony game against Barbados in 1962. His life was in danger for some time and he needed several emergency operations to take him off the danger list. Almost two years later, the left handed opening batsman, the very epitome of courage, was playing first class cricket. But despite a brave attempt to stage a comeback to Test cricket, he never could quite make it.
Contractor came into the limelight by scoring 92 against West Indies at Delhi in 1958-59. He then attracted notice on the 1959 tour of England. In the second Test at Lord's, he suffered a broken rib but carried on manfully to get top score of 81 in a total of 168. Against the all conquering Australians in 1959-60 he scored 438 runs, notching up his first - and as events proved his only - Test century, at Bombay. He was appointed captain against Pakistan in 1960-61, becoming at 26, the youngest Indian captain. The next season, he led India to a
historic series victory over England. He was at his peak both as captain and batsman when he was struck by the the near-fatal blow. Contractor had started his first-class career by scoring a century in each innings for Gujarat against Baroda, equalling the record held by another left handed opening batsman, Arthur Morris. In a first-class career that stretched almost two decades, Contractor
scored 8611 runs (39.86) with 22 hundreds.
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