Dattaji Gaekwad not enjoying the tag of India’s oldest living Test cricketer

MUMBAI: Dattaji Gaekwad does not like to be recognised as India’s oldest living Test cricketer.

With the demise of Deepak Shodhan (at the age of 87 years- 211 days) on Monday in Ahmedabad, Datta Gaekwad, just 9 days younger to him, now becomes India’s oldest living Test cricketer.

“I am more sadden than this “new tag”, Datta Gaekwad, speaking exclusively over telephone from his Baroda home, said.

“I learnt about his lung cancer just a few days ago through his elder brother (Jyotindra Shodhan). I have played with both brothers. I had a chat with Deepak thereafter but didn’t realize this would be my last interaction with him. With the conversation I didn’t get the impression that he would leave us so soon…”, Gaekwad added.

Dattaji Gaekwad was a member of the team when Shodhan made debut and became India’s first Test centurion on debut.

“We all had congratulated him. It is still a mystery he could not play many more Tests for India”.

“Sadly all Test cricketers of my era are now no more”.

“Deepak Shodhan also played for Baroda and I can very well recall one incident happened in Pune”.

“During our one of the Ranji Trophy matches against Maharashtra, Deepak had to wait to come into bat (at no.5) for almost two days. Me and Chandu Borde (also played for Baroda) surpassed the score of 400 odd runs registered by Maharashtra”.

“At the fall of fourth wicket, G. Kishanchand made a comment against Deepak Shodhan that he would be out for zero. Deepak Shodhan was determined to score few runs and went into bat. Sadly, he was out for a duck very first ball”.

“I had also played tennis with him. He was a humorous and entertaining man”, Dattaji Gaekwad, who recently discharged from the hospital in Baroda, signed off.

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