Former Indian finger spinner Rameshchandra Gangaram Nadkarni, better known simply as Bapu Nadkarni passed away on Friday (January 17) in Mumbai at the age of 86. The spinner from Mumbai played 41 Tests for India in the 1950’s and 60’s, and earned a name for himself as a miserly customer who always kept the opposition run rate in check and built up the pressure.
Nadkarni had a stingy economy rate of 1.67 despite having played for the country for the better part of two decades. He also holds the record for bowling the most number of consecutive maidens in a Test match (21)- a record that has stood the test of time and is unlikely to ever be beaten.
He was also a handy lower-order batsman for Ranji side Mumbai as well as the Indian team, averaging 40.36 and 25.70 respectively. Nadkarni scored seven fifties in International cricket, and also got a solitary hundred in a Test match against England in Kanpur.
Several former and active cricketers from India have sent condolence messages to Nadkarni’s family following the sad demise, including the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Ravi Shastri and many more. “Very sad to hear about the demise of Shri Bapu Nadkarni. I grew up hearing about the record of him bowling 21 consecutive maiden overs in a Test. My condolences to his family and dear ones,” tweeted Sachin Tendulkar.
Very sad to hear about the demise of Shri Bapu Nadkarni. I grew up hearing about the record of him bowling 21 consecutive maiden overs in a Test. My condolences to his family and dear ones.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) January 17, 2020
Rest in Peace Sir🙏. pic.twitter.com/iXozzyPMLZ
Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar also spoke out following the sad demise, recalling one of his fondest memories of Bapu Nadkarni. "He came as an assistant manager for quite a number of our tours. He was very encouraging. His favourite term was chhoddo math [don’t let go]. He was a gritty cricketer, despite playing in the days when gloves and thigh pads were not very good, not much protective equipment as you would get hit. But still hang in there, as he believed in chhoddo math.
"Every time he was on a tour, he was very very helpful in terms of strategy. At lunch time or tea time, he would say try this if you were a fielding captain. He would say, bring this bowler, or ask this bowler to bowl around the wicket. He was fantastic. Indian cricket has lost a real champion," Gavaskar was quoted.
Here are some of the tweets from other eminent cricketers.
Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Bapu Nadkarni Sir. May his Soul RIP.— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 18, 2020
Oh, just got the sad news of Bapuji's passing. Another pillar of Mumbai and Indian cricket. And like so many of his era, a lovely kind man, someone I had the privilege of knowing. #BapuNadkarni— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 17, 2020
My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family & friends of Bapu Nadkarni ji. One of our finest and my first team manager. RIP Sir. Om Shanti 🙏 pic.twitter.com/Z17EqpO1W9— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) January 18, 2020
Deeply saddened to learn about the demise of Well-known cricketer and All-Rounder Bapu Nadkarni. He will be best remembered for bowling 21 consecutive maiden overs against England in a Test match in Chennai. My condolences to bereaved family members pic.twitter.com/MjYMWXt4hc— Vice President of India (@VPSecretariat) January 18, 2020
Feature image: Twitter/ @sachin_rt