Dattatraya Gajanan "Dattu" Phadkar was born on 12th December 1925 in Kolhapur, Maharashtra. He hailed from western India. Through out his cricket career, Dattu Phadkar played in 13 unofficial tests. Dattu Phadkar played all the ten tests against the touring Commonwealth teams in 1949 to 1950 and 1950 to 1951. In the former series where India used four captains, Dattu Phadkar led the team in the final Test.
Dattu Phadkar was an attacking middle order Indian batsman, a medium pace bowler who could swing the ball both ways and extract life from the wicket. He usually fielded in the slips. He was one of the cricketing heart-throbs of his day.
Early Life of Dattu Phadkar
Dattu Phadkar was educated in Bombay (now called Mumbai) in the Robert Money High School. He did his graduation from Elphinstone College. At the age of 10, Dattu Phadkar scored 156 in an inter-school match. Dattu Phadkar represented Bombay University (University of Mumbai) at cricket between 1941 to 1942 and 1946 to 1947. On his collegiate debut, he hit 274, which was then a record. He underwent training at Alf Gover's Cricket School.
Early Career of Dattu Phadkar
Dattu Phadkar made his first class debut at the age of 17 and went on to captain Bombay Cricket team in 1950 to 1951. His highest first class score was 217 scored against Maharashtra Cricket Team in 1950 to 1951 out of a Bombay Cricket Team total of 725 for 8. Dattu Phadkar played in the Lancashire League for Nelson, and for Rochdale in the Central Lancashire League.
Later Career of Dattu Phadkar
Dattu Phadkar picked for the Indian tour to Australia in 1947 to 1948. Dattu Phadkar shone more with the bat than the ball. On his debut, Dattu Phadkar won a difficult wicket at Sydney he hit 51 while batting at eight and took 3 for 14. After he got promoted to No.6, he scored 123 at Adelaide and added a record 188 for the sixth wicket with Vijay Hazare. Dattu Phadkar went on to top the batting averages and scored at least a fifty in all the four Tests that he played. In the next year against West Indies at Madras (Chennai), Dattu Phadkar took 7 for 159 which remained his best figures in Tests. But his efforts at bowling bouncers in this match led to the West Indian bowlers reacting in kind and the defeat of India. In the exciting last Test where India needed 361 and ended up six runs short, Dattu Phadkar hit 37 not out.
Dattu Phadkar was a national selector of Indian cricket in the 1970s. Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) made him a life member in the year 1968. He worked for Tata and Sons in Bombay (Mumbai) and also for Indian Railways.
Dattu Phadkar, after retirement from Indian national cricket administration board, he ran a kindergarten school with his wife in Behala, Kolkata. He died on March 17, 1985 in Chennai.
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