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Sudhir Naik, the former Mumbai captain, died on Wednesday after a brief illness. He was 78.
Naik, who played three Tests and two ODIs for India between 1974 and 1975, had been in the intensive care unit of a private hospital in Mumbai after suffering a fall at his residence on March 24.
"A day after he was hospitalised, I went and saw him. He was responding to the treatment," Zaheer Khan, the former India fast bowler who Naik took under his wings in 1996, told Sportstar. "He recognised me and tried talking to me. I had a bit of a conversation with him. Knowing the personality that I have seen over the years, I was hoping he would fight through this. But it wasn't to be.
"On Sunday night, he became critical, and we were told that the next 72 hours will be critical. While we were hoping for his recovery, all through this time, I have been recalling my innumerable conversations with him as soon as I moved to Mumbai."
Naik rose to national prominence when he led a depleted Mumbai side to Ranji Trophy glory in 1970-71. It was a title they won without Sunil Gavaskar, Ajit Wadekar and Dilip Sardesai, who were all part of India's squad that was touring the Caribbean.
While Naik was dropped the following season once the stars returned, he wasn't to be denied for long. In 1974, he was picked for the tour of England and made his debut in the Birmingham Test, where he made his only Test half-century - 77 - in a losing cause. His reputation was, however, affected when he was accused of shoplifting at a London departmental store during that tour.
Overall, he played 85 first-class games and scored 4376 runs at an average of 35.29, hitting and seven centuries including a double.
After his retirement in 1977-78, Naik moved to cricket administration, coaching and, later, became the chief curator at the Wankhede Stadium. He was chief curator of the Mumbai Cricket Association when the Wankhede Stadium hosted the 2011 World Cup final as well as Sachin Tendulkar's farewell Test in November 2013.