Wednesday, November 8

The lion is dead.

Pahlan Ratanji Umrigar, died on 7 November 2006.

Popularly known as Polly Umrigar, he was an Indian middle order batsman and captain in Test cricket in a previous generation of cricket.

He was born on 28 March 1926 in Sholapur, Maharashtra, India
He belonged to a period where sportsmanship was the focus of every cricketer unlike the Aussies of today.

Polly Umrigar came from the Gujarati Parsi community that dominated the Bombay cricket in the early decades of the twentieth century. He made his first class debut at the age of 18 in the Bombay Pentangular in 1944.

Four years later, when he scored a majestic 115 not out for Combined Universities against the touring West Indians; he earned his test cap for India.

By the time two Commonwealth teams visited India in 1949-50 and 1950-51, Umrigar had become a regular in the team. He scored 276 runs in the unofficial Tests against the first team and 562 runs against the second.

Who can forget his two towering sixes off Frank Worrell in the Madras Test, that saw him move from 90 to 102.

My respectful homage to Polly Umrigar.

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