Former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Raj Singh Dungarpur, passed away at his Worli residence in Mumbai on Saturday after a prolonged illness. He was 73. The end came at around 11.20 am.
The body of Rajbhai, as he was popularly called, would be airlifted on Sunday morning to his family cremation ground at Dungarpur for the last rites. A bachelor all his life, he is survived by elder brothers, Jaisinghji and Mahipalsinghji.
A close friend of melody queen Lata Mangeshkar, Dungarpur was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease towards the end of his life because of which he suffered loss of memory. While he remembered the distant past, he used to forget recent incidents.
In his condolence message, BCCI President, Shashank Manohar, said: “It is a great loss to Indian cricket. Rajbhai served Indian cricket diligently and with distinction in several capacities. He was a self-effacing individual who always put the sport, and Indian cricket in particular, above everything else.”
A right-arm medium-pacer for Rajasthan between 1955-56 and 1970-71, Dungarpur played in 86 first class matches, picking up 206 wickets. But it was for his administrative skills post his playing days that he was popular among cricketers and officials in India and abroad.
Dungarpur managed the Indian team on historic tours including the 1984 and 2006 tours of Pakistan and the 1986 tour of England, where India won the Test series 2-0. He was the BCCI president from 1996-97 to 1998-99.