Chetan Chauhan, former Indian opener and one of the grittiest batsman in the history of the game, left for heavenly abode on Sunday [August 6] due to Covid-19 inflicted complications. Chauhan, a long time opening partner for the legendary Sunil Gavaskar, was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus in early July. He was 73.
Former India cricketer Chetan Chauhan has died of COVID-19 related complications, says younger brother Pushpendra Chauhan
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) August 16, 2020
Chauhan, who was serving as a cabinet minister in the Uttar Pradesh government, was admitted to the hospital immediately after he returned positive for Covid-19. Reports had suggested that the former opener seemed to have recovered but his health took a turn for the worse on Friday night, post which he was put on a ventilator
Born in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, Chetan Chauhan kickstarted his First-Class Career in the 1967-68 season for Maharashtra after having moved to Pune for studies.
The gritty Indian opener continued to score heavily for both Maharashtra and West Zone before finally shifting to Delhi in 1975-76. Chauhan made his Test debut against New Zealand in 1969 but he was dropped after just two Tests. Later in the season, he was selected for the Australian series but another underwhelming run meant he was dropped from the side for another 3 years.
Chetan Chauhan was an epitome of what you call a gutsy, gritty cricketer
But his stellar run in domestic cricket he was once again drafted in the team for the 1972-73, but once again he couldn’t emulate his feats in international cricket.
Chauhan continued to pile up runs in domestic cricket. In 1976-77, he stroked a 158 while batting with a broken jaw against Haryana and then followed it up with a double-hundred against Punjab and 147 against Karnataka. He scored another hundred in Duleep Trophy to earn another recall for the tour of Australia and thus started the glorious phase of his career where he went on to form a formidable opening partnership with Sunil Gavaskar.
Chauhan and Gavaskar’s most famous partnership came during the fourth innings of the 1976 Oval Test where he scored 80 even as Gavaskar stroked a double-hundred as India reached 8-429 in their pursuit of 438.
In a stellar First-Class career that went on till 1984-85, Chetan Chauhan scored 11,483 runs at an average of 40.22, with 59 half-centuries and 21 centuries. But, unfortunately, none of those centuries came in Test cricket. He got to 80-plus seven times and on a couple of instances reached 93 and 97 but could never convert them into a three-figure score.
Overall, Chetan Chauhan represented India in 40 Tests and 7 ODIs, scoring 2084 and 153 runs respectively. Post his cricketing career, Chauhan also served as the president of the Delhi & District Cricket Association.
Here’s how Twitter reacts to the untimely demise of Chetan Chauhan-
Shocked to hear about the passing of Shri. Chetan Chauhan ji. May his soul rest in peace and my thoughts and prayers are with his family. 🙏
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) August 16, 2020
Saddened to hear the passing of Chetan Chauhan. Fondly remember our conversations on the 2007/8 tour of Australia. Heartfelt condolences to his family. 🙏🏽
— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) August 16, 2020
Shri Chetan Chauhan Ji distinguished himself as a wonderful cricketer and later as a diligent political leader. He made effective contributions to public service and strengthening the BJP in UP. Anguished by his passing away. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 16, 2020
#ChetanChauhan Ji sharing century stands with Sunny Bhai was how 70s cricket was introduced to us. An opening batsman, administrator, team manager, minister and a forever friendly face to talk to. You will be sorely missed sir. Thoughts with his family in this difficult period. pic.twitter.com/oBPDGiTCFa
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) August 16, 2020
Very sad to hear the news of passing away of Chetan. He was a gritty opener and I’m sure he would have fought this battle too till the very end. Condolences to the family. RIP 🙏 #ChetanChauhan
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) August 16, 2020
My deep condolences to Chetan Chauhan's family and well wishers on his passing. Om Shanti !
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 16, 2020
Saddened to hear about the demise of Chetan Chauhan ji. His contribution to the game as well as to administration will always be remembered! May god give strength to his family & loved ones! pic.twitter.com/6dvIlqZ7ke
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) August 16, 2020
Sad #ChetanChauhan’s fight against Corona ended w/the gutsy opener falling prey..RIP #ChetanChauhan!By far the most frequent & lasting partner o Gr8 SMG Chetan was all o sheer grit/determination & ever willing to stay n shadow o illustrious SMG-yet rub shoulders w/high & mighty!
— Bishan Bedi (@BishanBedi) August 16, 2020
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) August 16, 2020
Full of grief to read of the passing of the brave Chetan Chauhan. Formed probably India's finest opening partnership with Sunil Gavaskar. Tough player, forged a fine career and always greeted you heartily. There in all of India's great fightbacks in the late 70s and 80s. So sad.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) August 16, 2020
#chetan_chauhan ji always fought like a great warrior on the cricket field and he did the same in his fight with Corona. Fact that he was Sunil Gavaskar's best partner in Test cricket, speaks volumes about his career. Super team man and all-rounder in life. #RIPChetanChauhan ji pic.twitter.com/xPkfFZumvO
— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) August 16, 2020
If you are a cricket fan of my vintage, you couldn’t think of Sunil Gavaskar without thinking about Chetan Chauhan. He didn’t set your pulse racing, but your nerves were settled when he was at the crease. RIP
— Sambit Bal (@sambitbal) August 16, 2020
The Sunil Gavaskar-Chetan Chauhan opening combine averaged 53.75 and was superior to Sehwag-Gambhir's 52.52. They had 10 century stands including a best of 213, which came in the second innings against England at The Oval in August 1979. (Source: @ESPNcricinfo) #chetan_chauhan
— Soutik Biswas (@soutikBBC) August 16, 2020
Extremely saddened by passing away of Chetan Chauhan. Took 25 mins to open his account in Test cricket but his first two scoring shots were a four & a six v NZ at CCI (1969).Scored 2084 Test runs with 16 fifties.Was manager of Indian team on tour of Australia in 2007/08 #RIP Sir
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) August 16, 2020
— Harsh Goenka (@hvgoenka) August 16, 2020
So sad to read of the death of Chetan Chauhan, from COVID-19 related issues.
He played 40 Tests, forming a great partnership with Sunny Gavaskar while also a heavy scorer for Delhi & Maharashtra.
His stand with Sunny of 213 at the Oval in 1979 will live on in the memory!
— Dan Redford (@danredford70) August 16, 2020
remember chetan chauhan ji organising an evening for journalists on the tour in australia in 2007/8…he was the manager and insisted on serving everyone individually, proclaiming, "yeh bhi kuch kaam hai, maine to in hathon se hal (plough) chalaya hua hai!" RIP, sir
— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) August 16, 2020