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Ex-Test cricketer Dilip Sardesai dies

The 66-year-old batsman passed away in Mumbai due to multiple-organ failure, reports Amol Karhadkar.
Hindustan Times | By Amol Karhadkar
UPDATED ON JUL 03, 2007 02:45 AM IST

Former Test cricketer Dilip Sardesai died in Mumbai on Monday due to multiple-organ failure. He was 66.

Sardesai was admitted to Bombay Hospital on June 23 with symptoms of pneumonia and his condition aggravated following muscle failure, Dr Shrirang Bichu told reporters.

"He also started having breathing problems since yesterday and died at 9.15 pm," said Bichu, who was treating Sardesai. Sardesai had suffered a kidney failure five years ago and had been on dialysis for over a year.

The former cricketer is survived by wife Nandini, noted television journalist son Rajdeep, who is expected to be in Mumbai by midnight, and daughter Shonali, who is based in the United States.

Family sources said Sardesai would be created at the Chandanwadi electrical crematorium at 11 am on Tuesday.

Born on August 8, 1940 in Margao, Goa, Sardesai made his Test debut against England in Kanpur in December 1961 and played his last Test against the same team in Delhi in December 1972.

During a career spanning 11 years, Sardesai played 30 Tests and scored 2001 runs in 55 innings with an average of 39.23 helped by a double century and four tons.

However, Sardesai is remembered for his stellar performance during the tour of the West Indies in 1970-71 in which he scored a double hundred and two centuries to power India to a historic first-ever series victory in the Caribbean. He also played a key role in India’s Oval Test victory in the summer of 1971 against England.

The right-handed batsman was also known for his immaculate footwork, especially against the spinners, and a sound defence that was a model for many aspiring cricketers.

Cricket Board President Sharad Pawar and Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee condoled Sardesai’s death. BCCI Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty, chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar, Mumbai Cricket Association joint secretary Hemant Waingankar and former cricketer Sandeep Patil were among the first to arrive at the hospital to pay homage to Sardesai.

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