“Should Have Done It On Day 1”: Sunil Gavaskar Unhappy Over India’s ‘Late’ Black Armband Gesture For Great

The Indian cricket team players on Saturday wore black armbands as a mark of respect in the memory of former captain Dattajirao Gaekwad on the third day of the ongoing third Test against England in Rajkot on Saturday. Dattajirao, who played 11 Tests for India between 1951 and 1962, died on February 13 after remaining hospitalised for 12 days. At 95, he was India’s oldest living Test cricketer.

Dattajirao was the father of former India batter and coach Aunshuman Gaekwad.

“Team India will be wearing black arm bands in memory of Dattajirao Gaekwad, former India captain and India’s oldest Test cricketer who passed away recently,” the BCCI said in a statement shortly before the third day’s play got underway here at the Niranjan Shah Stadium.

A right-handed batter, who could bowl both medium pace and leg-break, Dattajirao was India’s captain during the 1959 tour of England.

Former Indian cricket team captain Sunil Gavaskar mentioned that India could have worn the black armband right from the first day. 

“Better late than never… they should’ve done it on Day 1 but better late than never,” Gavaskar said on commentary. “He was captain of the Indian team in a five-match series. He captained four out of the five matches and the other one was captained by Pankaj Roy.’

An accidental Indian captain who matched the peerless Vijay Hazare stroke for stroke with a cover drive to die for, Dattajirao Gaekwad should have played more than 11 Tests, given the talent this remarkable player from Baroda possessed.

On Tuesday, Gaekwad died in his hometown Baroda at the age of 95. Statistically, he was the oldest living Indian Test cricketer since the death of Deepak Shodhan in 2016.

He also mentored a lot of Baroda cricketers through 70s, 80s and 90s including the likes of Nayan Mongia and was always looking out for new talents at the famous Moti Baug Palace ground.

“Under the shade of the banyan tree at the Motibag cricket ground, from his blue Maruti car, Indian captain D.K. Gaekwad sir tirelessly scouted young talent for Baroda cricket, shaping the future of our team. His absence will be deeply felt. A great loss for cricketing community,” Former India pacer Irfan Pathan wrote on ‘X’ The BCCI also put out a condolence message.

“The BCCI expresses its profound grief at the passing away of Dattajirao Gaekwad, former India captain and India’s oldest Test cricketer.

“He played in 11 Tests and led the team during India’s Tour of England in 1959. Under his captaincy, Baroda also won the Ranji Trophy in the 1957-58 season, beating Services in the final. The Board expresses its heartfelt condolences to Gaekwad’s family, friends, and admirers,” it stated.

With PTI inputs

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