Vasant Raiji, India’s oldest first-class cricketer, dies

Vasant Raiji, who was India’s oldest first-class cricketer at 100, died in the early hours of June 13, 2020. Raiji was 100 years old and is survived by his wife and two daughters.

“He (Raiji) passed away at 2.20 am in his sleep at his residence in Walkeshwar in South Mumbai due to old-age,” a PTI report quoted his son-in-law Sudarshan Nanavati as saying.

Raiji, a right-handed batsman, played nine first-class matches in the 1940s, scoring 277 runs with 68 being his highest score, reported PTI.

He made his debut for a Cricket Club of India team that played Central Provinces and Berar in Nagpur in 1939.

His Mumbai debut happened in 1941 when the team played Western India under the leadership of Vijay Merchant.

Former India batting great Sachin Tendulkar and the Board of Control for Cricket in India paid tribute to Raiji on Twitter.

Raiji, also a cricket historian and chartered accountant, was 13 when India played its first Test match at the Bombay Gymkhana in South Mumbai.

Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and former Australian skipper Steve Waugh had paid a courtesy visit to Raiji at his residence in January when he had turned 100.

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