Tributes pour in for ‘Bapu’, man who bowled 21 consecutive maidens

Ex-Indian cricketers, including the likes of Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, and various politicians have condoled the demise of former Test all-rounder Rameshchandra Gangaram ‘Bapu’ Nadkarni

Tributes pour in for ‘Bapu’, man who bowled 21 consecutive maidens
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IANS

Ex-Indian cricketers, including the likes of Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, and various politicians have condoled the demise of former Test all-rounder Rameshchandra Gangaram 'Bapu' Nadkarni. Nadkarni, best known for bowling a record 21 consecutive maiden overs in a Test match, passed away on Friday at the age of 86 in Mumbai.

A left-arm batsman and slow-left arm orthodox bowler, Nadkarni played 41 Tests for India between 1955 and 1968. He scored 1,414 runs and took 88 wickets. His debut and final Tests were both against New Zealand.

One of the most economical bowlers to have ever played the game, Nadkarni conceded just 2559 runs from 9165 balls he bowled in Test cricket. His miserly Test economy of 1.67 is still the fourth-best among bowlers with a minimum of 2000 balls bowled.

In 1964, Nadkarni bowled 21 successive maidens against England in Chennai. He bowled a total of 27 maidens in the innings, albeit without a wicket, and his figures read 32-27-5-0.

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu offered his condolences. A tweet from Vice President's Twitter handle read: "Deeply saddened to learn about the demise of Well-known cricketer and All-Rounder Bapu Nadkarni. He will be best remembered for bowling 21 consecutive maiden overs against England in a Test match in Chennai. My condolences to bereaved family members"

Gavaskar, in an obituary put on the ICC website, shared personal memories from the time Nadkarni served as an assistant manager on tours, saying: "He came as an assistant manager for quite a number of our tours. He was very encouraging. His favourite term was chhoddo math (don't let go). He was a gritty cricketer, despite playing in the days when gloves and thigh pads were not very good, not much protective equipment as you would get hit. But still hang in there, as he believed in chhoddo math.

"Every time he was on a tour, he was very very helpful in terms of strategy. At lunch time or tea time, he would say try this if you were a fielding captain. He would say, bring this bowler, or ask this bowler to bowl around the wicket. He was fantastic. Indian cricket has lost a real champion."

Tendulkar tweeted: "Very sad to hear about the demise of Shri Bapu Nadkarni. I grew up hearing about the record of him bowling 21 consecutive maiden overs in a Test. My condolences to his family and dear ones. Rest in Peace Sir."

"32-27-5-0 with 21 consecutive maidens. Condolences to the family and loved ones of the wonderful Bapu Nadkarni ji on his passing away," tweeted Mohammad Kaif.

"Heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of one of India's finest all rounders Bapu Nadkarni Sir. His record of 21 successive maiden overs in a test match still stands," said Ravichandran Ashwin.

"Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Bapu Nadkarni Sir. May his Soul RIP," wrote Laxman.

Anil Kumble said: "Sad to hear about Bapu Nadkarni's demise. Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends."

"My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family & friends of Bapu Nadkarni ji. One of our finest and my first team manager. RIP Sir. Om Shanti," said Team India head coach Ravi Shastri.

"All-rounder Bapu Nadkarni, the gem of cricket world, said goodbye to the world yesterday. No one has broken the world record of bowling 21 consecutive maiden overs in a Test match. Without you, the cricket world will always be incomplete. Humble tributes!" tweeted former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Hindi.

"Pained to know about the demise of Bapu Nadkarni, a great cricketer known for his unerring bowling line and making it nearly impossible for the batsman to score. My heartfelt tributes to one of the finest cricketers ever..." tweeted former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

In first-class cricket, Nadkarni again stood out with an economy of just 1.64 despite bowling over 10000 balls, picking 500 wickets in 191 matches. He also made 8880 first-class runs with 14 centuries and 46 fifties.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

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