Vasant Ranjane, a former India medium-pacer, has died in Pune at the age of 74. Ranjane played seven Tests for India between 1958 and 1964 and represented Maharashtra and Railways in first-class cricket from 1956 to 1971.
"He [Ranjane] was briefly ill and was admitted to Ruby Hall Clinic where he died," former Maharashtra opener Surendra Bhave told PTI.
Ranjane made a successful first-class debut in 1956-57, when he took 9 for 35 and 4 for 36 for Maharashtra against Saurashtra. He made his Test debut against West Indies two years later, but did not get a second game until 1961-62, when England toured India. He played two more Tests in that series and was taken on the 1962 tour of West Indies, where he played one game, the final Test at Kingston. He played only two more Tests, against England in Madras in 1963-64 and against Australia at the same venue a year later. He finished with 19 Test wickets at an average of 34.
Ranjane worked for Indian Railways as a fitter and retired in 1994.
Chandu Borde, who played first-class and Test cricket with Ranjane, remembered him as a bowler with excellent line and length. "We played for the same club, Vilas CC and Maharashtra," Borde said. "He [Ranjane] was a very fine bowler, one of the best pace bowlers the country has produced. His line and length was superb, he was always there on the spot. He used to produce a ball that came in and troubled all the top batsmen. I have seen top batsmen struggling against him. He would have been the ideal bowler in English conditions."
Sunil Gavaskar also paid tribute to Ranjane. "My deepest condolences are with his family. He was one of the finest new ball bowlers and did well in the limited opportunities he got," Gavaskar said. "He did pretty well, considering he bowled in an era, when spinners used to bowl more."