Former India stalwart Salim Durani passed away on Sunday, aged 88, at his home in Jamnagar, Gujarat, PTI reported.
The all-rounder played 29 Tests for India scoring 1202 runs and took 75 wickets. He played a key role with the ball in the famous 1971 Port of Spain Test, where legendary Sunil Gavaskar made his debut. In a span of few balls in the second innings, Durani dismissed both Clive Lloyd and Gary Sobers, paving the way for India’s first Test victory in the Caribbean. He conceded just 21 runs from the 17 overs that he bowled. A decade earlier, in 1961-’62, he bowled India to victory over England, taking a series haul of 23 wickets. In the Eden Gardens Test, he took 8 wickets and followed up with a match haul of 10 wickets in Chennai.
He also played 170 first-class games, scored 8545 runs and took 484 wickets and represented Saurashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan in domestic cricket. Durani, the first cricketer to receive the Arjuna Award was honoured by the Board in 2011 with the CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award. He was BCCI’s special guest in 2018 when the Board hosted Afghanistan for its first-ever Test at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, where he presented a memento at the toss to Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai.
Tributes poured in for Durani with both players and fans remembering the swashbuckling all-rounder, who played 29 Test matches for the national team.
Former India batter VVS Laxman took to social media to pay tribute, calling Durani “a man who hit sixes on public demand.”
Indeed, Durani’s crowd-pleasing nature and attractive style of play is what made him the first Indian cricketer to be given the Arjuna Award.
He played his last Test for India in 1973 against England at the Brabourne Stadium, where he made his debut in 1960.
Here are some of the reactions:
Roger Binny, BCCI President: “Shri Salim Durani played the game with grace, flair and a lot of passion. With his demise, we have lost one of India’s iconic cricket heroes. While his performances in international cricket are inspiring, his feats in domestic cricket still act as a motivation for our cricketers. I extend my condolences to his family and friends.”
Jay Shah, BCCI Secretary: “Shri Salim Durani’s contribution towards Indian Cricket will forever be remembered. With his demise, we have lost one of Indian cricket’s crown jewels. His eye-catching batting style and his overall aura made him special. The BCCI prays for the departed soul and shares the grief of the family and his loved ones.”— via BCCI statement