India’s oldest first-class cricketer Vasant Raiji died in the early hours of Saturday. He was 100.
Raiji, a right-handed batsman, played nine first-class matches in the 1940s and scored a total 277 runs. He opened the batting for Bombay and Baroda in the Ranji Trophy, and was a reserve for the Hindus team in the 1941 Bombay Pentangular. His two highest scores came in Baroda’s victory over Maharashtra in 1944-45, when he made 68 and 53.
Raiji had turned to writing following his cricketing career. He was also a chartered accountant by profession.
Following the death of B. K. Garudachar in February 2016, Raiji became India’s oldest first-class cricketer.
He had celebrated his 100th birthday on January 26 this year which was attended by Steve Waugh and Sachin Tendulkar at his residence.
“Wishing you a very special 100th birthday, Shri Vasant Raiji. Steve & I had a wonderful time listening to some amazing cricket stories about the past. Thank you for passing on a treasure trove of memories about our beloved sport,” Tendulkar had tweeted.
On March 7 this year, Raiji became the oldest living first-class cricketer in the world following the death of John Manners.