Former India cricket captain Ajit Wadekar passed away in Mumbai on Wednesday after a prolonged illness. He was 77.
Wadekar, who played 37 Tests, led India to historic triumphs in the West Indies and England in the 1970s.
Under him, India won a five-match series in the West Indies in 1971 before beating England in a three-match series the same year.
Wadekar, who scored 2,113 Test runs with 14 half centuries and a century, led India to a third successive series victory, beating England once again at home in 1972-73. He was the first Indian skipper to achieve the feat of three successive Test series wins.
βHe set an excellent example in discipline and team work and by persuasion and sociable nature was able to extract full co-operation and the best effort from them (team members). He never threw his weight about just because he was the captain and never split the team or groups or parties,β wrote cricketer Vijay Merchant in the Wisden.
Wadekar had one century in Tests, with his 143 coming in a winning cause against New Zealand at Wellington in 1968. This also helped India win the series 3-1, its first series win away from home.
PM Narendra Modi paid his tributes to Wadekar and said he will be remembered for his rich contribution to Indian cricket.
Ajit Wadekar will be remembered for his rich contribution to Indian cricket. A great batsman & wonderful captain, he led our team to some of the most memorable victories in our cricketing history. He was also respected as an effective cricket administrator. Pained by his demise.β Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 15, 2018
The Board of Control for Cricket in India and current coach Ravi Shastri also paid their condolences.
With a heavy heart we bid adieu to Ajit Wadekar. The former India captain is no more. Cricketer, Coach, Manager and Chairman of Selectors - Mr Wadekar served Indian cricket in many different ways. pic.twitter.com/6zdFtleXB9β BCCI (@BCCI) August 15, 2018
Sad moment for Indian cricket to lose one of its most successful captains. Shrewd to the core. Condolences to the entire family #TeamIndia #RIPAjitWadekar pic.twitter.com/0xC0fv3Arkβ Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) August 15, 2018
Wadekar also appeared in two One-day Internationals.
An aggressive left-handed batsman, Wadekar made his first class debut in 1958-59 before making his India debut in 1966-67.
After his retirement, he also served as the Manager of the national team led by Mohammed Azharuddin in the 1990s.
With IANS inputs