Ajit Wadekar, the man who shaped some of India’s biggest overseas Test series wins, passed away. The former Indian cricket captain, coach and chief selector passed away on August 15, Independence Day night in Mumbai, after a prolonged illness. Wadekar, who played 37 Tests, led India to historic triumphs in the West Indies and England in the 1970s. Under him, India won five matches in the West Indies in the early 1970s before beating England in a three-match series.
Wadekar, who scored 2,113 Test runs with 14 half centuries and a century, led India to a third successive series victory, beating England once again in 1972-73. He also appeared in two One-day Internationals. An aggressive left-handed batsman, Wadekar made his first class debut in 1958-59 before making his India debut in 1966-67. After his retirement, he also served as the manager of the national team led by Mohammed Azharuddin in the 1990s.
He was one of the few Indians to represent the country as Test player, captain, coach/manager and the chairman of selectors. Tributes to the legendary cricketer immediately began pouring in on social media, as fans hailed “the man who led India to first Test series victories in England West Indies, both in 1971”.