Ajit Wadekar the skipper who captained India to historic overseas wins in 197i – In West Indies and England is no more. He died after a prolonged illness at the age of 77.
The aggressive batsman left an indelible mark on Indian cricket despite making a mere 37 Test appearances. He led India to triumphs in England and the West Indies in 1971.
Wadekar also served as India’s manager in the 1990s when Mohammed Azharuddin was the captain and the duo had a fine partnership and had a superb record at home from 1993- 1996. He later went on to become the chairman of selectors as well.
He played 37 Tests in which he scored 2,113 runs at an average of 31.07. His only century, a match-winning 143 at Wellington, came during India’s 1967-68 tour of New Zealand .
Tributes started flowing in as news of his death came.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled his rich contribution to Indian cricket
Ajit Wadekar will be remembered for his rich contribution to Indian cricket. A great batsman & wonderful captain, he led our team to some of the most memorable victories in our cricketing history. He was also respected as an effective cricket administrator. Pained by his demise.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 15, 2018
Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar expressed his grief
Deeply saddened to hear about the demise of Ajit Wadekar Sir. He was someone who was instrumental in bringing out the best in us during the 90s. We’ll always be grateful for his advice and guidance. Praying for strength for his family during this difficult time. RIP pic.twitter.com/coSyac73ot
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) August 16, 2018
Legendary Sinner Bishan Singh Bedi paid his rich tributes
V sad news-Ajit Wadekar passing away-only Indn Capt to win 3 series in a row-2 away 1 at home-ALW was good contemporary-we had differences o opinion but always respected glory o Crkt-fine batsman & great close in catch-served Indn Crkt w/aplomb as player/Selectr/Coach-RIP Jeetu!
— Bishan Bedi (@BishanBedi) August 15, 2018
Former India skipper Mohammad Azharuddin , who had fine rapport with Ajit Wadekar when he was coach expressed his sadness on twitter
#AjitWadekar sir .. such an iconic person..deeply saddened by his demise!! Sir was a father figure for me.. May his soul rest in peace! My Heartfelt Condolences to the family..@BCCI pic.twitter.com/xLMb2i82B2
— Mohammed Azharuddin (@azharflicks) August 15, 2018
Former India batsman VVS Laxman paid his tribute
Extremely sad to hear about the demise of Ajit Wadekar sir. May his soul rest in peace
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) August 16, 2018
Former India skipper and former Head Coach Anil Kumble also remembered Ajit Wadekar
Deeply saddened by the passing away of #AjitWadekar He was more than a coach to the entire team – a father figure and a shrewd tactician. My heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones. He will be missed. Thank you Sir for the confidence shown in my ability!
— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) August 16, 2018