Former India opener Chetan Chauhan died on Sunday due to Covid-19 related complications after being put on life support for nearly 36 hours, his brother Pushpendra Chauhan said. Chauhan was also a Cabinet minister in the Uttar Pradesh government.
Chauhan, who played 40 Tests for India, was 73 and is survived by his wife and son Vinayak, who is scheduled to arrive from Melbourne later in the day.
“My elder brother Shri Chetan Chauhan has left us today after fighting a good battle. I sincerely thank everyone who had prayed for his recovery. His son Vinayak will be reaching anytime and we will then perform last rites,” Pushpendra Chauhan told PTI.
Chauhan was admitted to Sanjay Gandhi PGI in Lucknow on July 12 after being found Covid-19 positive. Due to kidney-related ailments, his health deteriorated and he was shifted to Medanta hospital in Gurugram. On Friday night, he had a multi-organ failure and was put on ventilator support.
Chauhan was Sunil Gavaskar’s longest-serving opening partner. He formed a good opening partnership with Gavaskar, scoring over 3000 runs together with 10 century stands from 59 innings. Only Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir have put together more century partnerships for the first wicket than Chauhan and Gavaskar in Tests for India.
One of the most memorable moments of his career as an opener was the 213-run stand with Gavaskar against England at The Oval in 1979, during which he scored 80 runs.
He also played in seven ODIs, scoring 153 runs from them. He was a prolific scorer in domestic cricket while playing for Delhi and Maharashtra too.
After retiring, Chauhan served as the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association in various capacities — president, vice-president, secretary and chief selector — apart from being manager of the Indian Team.
Chauhan was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 1981.
He was elected twice to the Lok Sabha from Amroha in Uttar Pradesh, in 1991 and 1998.
Former India captain and BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly said: “I have spent so much time with him when he was Indian Cricket Team’s manager. Not only was he a tough opening batsman but was a person with a tremendous sense of humour and had a tremendous attachment to Indian cricket. This year needs to be forgotten as it has taken a lot of dear people away. He will always remain with us.”
Chauhan is the second UP minister to have succumbed to coronavirus, after Kamla Rani Varun.
Here are some tributes to the former India opener:
(With PTI inputs)