Early Life of Ajit Wadekar
Ajit Wadekar was born on 1st April 1941 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He got attracted to the game of Cricket from his very childhood and he started to play cricket at a very young age.
Early Career of Ajit Wadekar
Ajit Wadekar represented his University in the Rohinton Baria Inter-University Tournament from the years of 1957-58 to 1961-62. He became the captain of the Bombay University Cricket team during 1961-62. He was also the captain of the Combined University Cricket Team when it played against the M.C.C. in the years of 1961-62. While he was playing in the University levels of Cricket, he did his most brilliant inter-university performance against Delhi in 1958-59 when he scored 324 in an innings. With the help of this extraordinary performance, Ajit Wadekar was able to claim a place in Mumbai Ranji Trophy team. He continued to retain the position till the years of 1974-75.
International Career of Ajit Wadekar
Ajit Wadekar got his maiden chance in the National Team when the famous West Indies team led by Sir Gary Sobers visited India in 1966-67. Though he got the chance to prove his talent, he failed to make a mark in the first Test against West Indies at Mumbai and he scored only 8 and 4 runs in the two innings of the Test. After this very poor performance, his spot in the team came under pressure in the following two Tests and he somehow became successful to earn a berth on the team to England after scoring 67 in the second Test. He claimed the spot in the team to England in the year of 1967.
Ajit Wadekar was one of the most successful India cricketers in the tour by scoring 835 runs in the county matches. He also played very well in the Test matches and scored 242 runs with a highest of 91 in the Series. In Australia, he scored only 212 runs from 8 innings with an average of 26.50. He then improved his performance in the New Zealand Tour in 1969-70 and achieved an aggregate of 330 runs with an average of 47.14.
He has played 37 Tests throughout his career and aggregated 2,113 runs with a career average of 31.07. In the 73 matches that he played in the first class level during the period of 17 years, he scored a total of 4,288 runs with an average of 57.94. He has got two Ranji Trophy centuries under his belt that include his career best score of 323. He made this score against Mysore in the season of 1966-67. He was the captain of the West Zone in 6 of the 18 Duleep Trophy matches that he played and he captained his side in a total of 30 matches. He led the Mumbai Team successfully six times against the Rest of India.
Career Statistics of Ajit Wadekar
The career statistics of Ajit Wadekar as an All-rounder is as follows:
Batting and Fielding Averages
Achievements of Ajit Wadekar
Ajit Wadekar was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 1967 and the Padmashri in 1972 instituted by the Government of India to recognise sporting talents. Other awards include C.K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award, Sportsperson of the Year and the Castrol Lifetime Achievement Award.
Life after Retirement for Ajit Wadekar
Later, Ajit served as the manager of Indian Cricket team in the 1990s, alongside then Captain Mohammad Azharuddin.
Ajit Wadekar had passed away on 15th August, 2018 at a hospital in Mumbai after prolonged illness. He was 77 and is survived by his wife Rekha, two sons and a daughter.
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