The morning started with a sorrowful news for cricket fraternity on Saturday as Vasant Raiji, India’s oldest first-class cricketer, passed away at the age of 100 years and 139 days. Raiji breathed his last at Walkeshwar in South Mumbai. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Born on January 26, 1920 in Vadodara, Gujarat — Raiji played first-class cricket between 1939 to 1950. He featured in nine matches, scoring 277 runs at an average of 23.08. He had the highest score of 68 runs and opened batting for Baroda and Bomay in the Ranji trophy. His brother Madan was also a first-class cricketer.
Vasant Raiji passed away at 2.20 am in his sleep
After the passing away of B.K Gurudachar in February 2016, Raiji became the oldest first-class cricketer in India. On his 100th birthday in January 2020 cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Steve Waugh paid him a visit to honour him on his special achievement. He later became the oldest living-cricketer in March 2020, following the death of John Manners.
“He (Raiji) passed away at 2.20 am in his sleep at his residence in Walkeshwar in South Mumbai due to old-age,” his son-in-law Sudarshan Nanavati told PTI.
Raiji turned to cricket writing after his retirement and wrote several accounts on the sport in the country. He was a chartered accountant by profession and wrote a few books on the subject.
His cremation will take place at the Chandanwadi crematorium in South Mumbai on Saturday afternoon.