Former India batsman Madhav Apte passed away at the Breach Candy Hospital on September 23 morning, aged 86. He had a very short international career but it did not stop Madhav Apte from leaving his mark with the bat. The ex-cricketer made his debut against Pakistan in 1952 and went on to play six more Tests.
Against Pakistan, his scores read 30, 10 not out and 42 and was retained in the squad for the subsequent tour of West Indies. This is the tour where Madhav Apte showed the vast talent he possessed. He opened the batting in all five Tests, and had scores of 64, 52, 64, 9, 0, 163 not out, 30, 30, 15 and 33. With a tally of 460 runs (51.11) he finished second to Polly Umrigar in the Test figures. But surprisingly, he was dropped from the team and was never picked again.
Madhav Apte’s first-class stats are equally impressive. He marked his first-class debut for Mumbai (then Bombay) with a century against Saurashtra. By the time he retired, he had scored 3,336 First Class runs at 39 in 67 matches and led Mumbai to Ranji Trophy titles in 1958-59 and 1961-62.
Apte started his career as a leg-spinner, and shot to fame after taking 10 for 10 in an innings in Giles Shield. However, he came under the tutelage of Vinoo Mankad, and made his Ranji Trophy debut once Vijay Merchant, no less, marked him out as his heir.
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Madhav Apte also has the distinction of being the only cricketer to have played alongside DB Deodhar and Sachin Tendulkar. He played Kanga League till he was 70 and was later instrumental in bending the CCI rules to make Tendulkar an underage playing member of the club.
Apte’s family members were involved in sports too. His brother Arvind played a Test for India, while his son Vaman played squash for India (and cricket for Bombay University).