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Salute to cricket masters

India's Mushtaq Ali, England's David Sheppard and South Africa's Denis Lindsay passed away this year.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2006 11:17 IST

Mushtaq Ali, whoscored India's first Test ton abroad

India's oldest living Test cricketer SyedMushtaq Ali, died in his sleep onJune 18, 2005 at his home in Indore. He was 90.

Mushtaq played 11 Tests from 1934 to 1952, scoring 612 runs with two tons. In a first-class career spanning 24 years, Mushtaq scored over 13,000 runs with 30 tons and also took 155 wickets.

He was the first Indian to score a Test century away from home, at Old Trafford in 1936.

His hundred at Old Trafford, scored in just under a session, was voted as 18th in the list of all-time greatest hundreds by cricketers and cricket writers in a poll conducted by Wisden Asia Cricket last December.

Boria Majumdar, one of India's few historians who write about cricket, writes about how Ali became enamoured with cricket and how he would be remembered as the first to score a Test century overseas for India.

The Wisden Almanack has a report on the 1936 Test at Old Trafford where faced with a deficit of 368, Vijay Merchant and Mushtaq Ali put on 203 for the first wicket, with Ali cutting loose and confounding England with his unorthodox cricket. India drew an overseas test for the first time.

During his acceptance speech in July 2002 when he received a "Special Achievement" award from Wisden, he mentioned that a lot of people were asking him if he would go on to score a century, i.e. turn 100 years old. To that he replied that it all depended on the umpire. If he lifted his finger, he'd have to go!

Paying tribute to the legend, former Indian captain Poly Umrigar said, "He was a fearless hooker of the ball, one of the finest to play the shot, and used to step out and play the shot against the fast bowlers. He was an attacking batsman right from the word go. He was also a thorough gentleman."

Denis Lindsay: Former SA star

Former South Africa wicketkeeper Denis Thomson Lindsay died in Johannesburg onDecember 1, 2005. He was 66.

Lindsay had been suffering from cancer for a long time, said a statement from the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA).

He played 19 Tests in the 1960s, scoring 1,130 runs, taking 57 catches and effecting two stumpings.

"Denis was an understanding cricketer who served the game wholeheartedly even during his retirement," UCBSA CEO Gerald Majola said paying tribute to Lindsay.

"He will leave behind a legacy and on behalf of the UCBSA and Cricket SA, we extend our condolences to the family during this tough period."

As a player, Lindsay represented North Eastern Transvaal during 1958-59 and Northern Transvaal 1973-74.

He made his international debut for South Africa against Australia at Brisbane in 1963-64. His highest Test score came against Australia at Johannesburg in 1966-67 when he scored 182 off 227 deliveries. He cracked 25 fours and five sixes.

In the series against Australia in 1966-67, the right-hander made 606 runs at an average of 86.57. This remains the world record for the most runs scored by a wicketkeeper in a Test series.

After retiring from professional cricket, Lindsay became a supplementary panel referee of the International Cricket Council and did seven Tests (2001-to-2001-02) and 59 one-day internationals (2000-01 to 2003-04).

David Sheppard, Bishop of Liverpool who played cricket

Former England cricket captain and the Bishop of Liverpool David Sheppard, who won 22 Test caps, died at the age of 75.

Sheppard was born in Reigate, Surrey and educated at Sherborne School, Dorset where his cricketing talent first emerged.

He played in 22 Test matches. He was not selected in 1953 when England played Australia and recovered the Ashes, but he was selected in 1954, and captained the team on two occasions against the touring Pakistanis, when he stood in for Len Hutton. One game was won, the other drawn, but the four-Test series ended tied at 1-1. He was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1953.

In 2001 Sheppard was named President of Sussex County Cricket Club. In December 2003 he announced that he had been suffering from cancer for the previous two years, and he died just over a year later, on the eve of his 76th birthday.

First Published: Dec 28, 2005 15:04 IST