India’s oldest living cricketer, Deepak Shodhan, died on Monday in Ahmedabad. Deepak, 87, was suffering from lung cancer which was detected only in January this year.
The left hander was 25 when he made his Test debut against Pakistan at Eden Gardens in 1952, scoring 110 to becomes the first Indian to score a century on debut.
“ He died peacefully this morning. His lung cancer had been detected in January this year. He was losing weight since. Yesterday morning he collapsed and his condition deteriorated. ” Jyotindra Shodhan, 91,Deepak’s elder brother and former Gujarat Ranji player told HT from Ahmedabad.
Born in 1928, Deepak played three Tests and scored 181 runs, with an average of 60.33. He also played 43 first class matches and scored 1802 runs.
Deepak became a hero on debut as he walked to bat at No8 with the side tottering at 179/6 against Pakistan. Thanks to his 110-run knock which ensured India clinched an important first innings lead of 140. Shodhan though, did not get a chance to bat in the second innings in the drawn game and was picked for the West Indies tour. He played in the opening Test at Port of Spain and scored 45 and 11 low down the order before getting injured.
“He loved his game and enjoyed in his life. He loved playing domestic cricket. He debuted for Gujarat in 1945-46, the same match I scored my first hundred, ” remembered Jyotindra. Jyotindra also represented Gukarat in the Ranji Trophy for 12 years but failed to make the cut for the Test team.