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News

Dattajirao Gaekwad, India's oldest Test cricketer, dies at 95

The former India captain and Baroda legend died of age-related illnesses

File photo: Datta Gaekwad in London  •  PA Photos

File photo: Datta Gaekwad in London  •  PA Photos

Dattajirao Gaekwad, the former India Test captain and the country's oldest living Test cricketer at the time of his passing, has died at 95. According to PTI, Gaekwad died at a Baroda Hospital on Tuesday morning of age-related ailments.
Gaekwad, whose son Anshuman also represented India, played 11 Tests between 1952 and 1961 and was captain during the 1959 tour of England. A right-hand batter, he finished with 350 Test runs at an average of 18.42, and his highest score of 52 came against West Indies in New Delhi in 1959.
Gaekwad was known for his sound defence and his drives but also made a mark as a versatile fielder. He made his debut under Vijay Hazare's captaincy at Leeds in 1952 during India's first tour of England after independence. He started his India career as an opener but settled into the middle-order, with limited appearances in his ten-year international career. Gaekwad's final appearance was against Pakistan at home in 1961.
In the Ranji Trophy, however, Gaekwad was a pillar of strength to Baroda, representing them from 1947 to 1961. In all first-class cricket, he scored 5788 runs (36.40) and 17 centuries with a high score of 249 not out against Maharashtra in 1959-60, one of three double-centuries in his first-class career. Under his captaincy, Baroda also won the Ranji Trophy in the 1957-58 season, beating Services in the final.
In 2016, Gaekwad had become India's oldest living Test cricketer after the death of former batter Deepak Shodhan at the age of 87. The oldest living Test cricketer from India is now Chingleput Gopinath, the cricketer from Madras, who is 93 years and 349 days old.