Former India cricket captain Ajit Wadekar was an aggressive batsman. He was a trailblazer in Indian cricket despite a mere 37 Test appearances, leading India to triumphs in England and the West Indies in 1971.
This the feat made him an icon. Wadekar scored 2,113 runs in his Test career, including one hundred, and was also the country’s first ODI captain. He appeared in just two matches, though. India lost both those ODIs against England, which prompted Wadekar to retire from international cricket in 1974.
The left-hander ended his Test career with 14 half centuries, four of those being 90-plus scores. The Mumbaikar went on to serve as India’s manager in the ’90s during Mohammed Azharuddin’s captaincy.
In his tenure as manager, India had finished semifinalists at the 1996 World Cup. He later went on to become the chairman of selectors. Wadekar is the only cricketer apart from Lala Amarnath and Chandu Borde to have served as captain, manager, and selector in Indian cricket.
He was bestowed the Arjuna Award in 1967 and Padmashri in 1972. He is survived by wife Rekha, two sons and a daughter.