India’s oldest first-class cricketer Vasant Raiji passed away at his residence in Mumbai in the wee hours of Saturday, reported news agency PTI. Raiji was 100 years old and is survived by his wife and two daughters.Raiji’s son-in-law confirmed that former cricketer died to old-age. “He (Raiji) passed away at 2.20 am in his sleep at his residence in Walkeshwar in South Mumbai due to old-age,” his son-in-law Sudarshan Nanavati told PTI.
Raiji, who was chartered accountant to start with, could not ignore his love for cricket. The right-handed batsman, played nine first-class matches for Mumbai and Baroda in the 1940s, scoring 277 runs with 68 being his highest score in his decade-long career.Raiji could not make his debut a memorable one as he was dismissed for a duck in the first-innings and was out for 1 in the second.
Interestingly, Raiji’s debut was neither for Mumbai nor for Baroda.Dekho hun kis mahan khiladi di hoi mautt jo ke reh chuka hai bharti cricket team da mahan balebaz.He played his first game for a Cricket Club of India team that locked horns with Central Provinces and Berar in Nagpur in 1939.Ik var fer laga hai vada sara jhatka bharti team nu. Raiji, also a cricket historian and chartered accountant, was 13 when India played its first Test match at the Bombay Gymkhana in South Mumbai.