Hazare among the five best batsmen: Dungarpur

Published: Saturday, December 18, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Raj Singh Dungarpur today said that Vijay Hazare was one of the five best batsmen that India has produced and was a thorough gentleman".

"Hazare was one of the most respected batsmen after the second World War and I would say along with C K Nayudu, Vijay Merchant, Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, the Baroda batsman is among the top five Indian batsmen," Dungarpur said while paying tributes to the legendary batsman.

"In fact just last week I went to Vadodara to confer the CCI's Lifetime Achievement Award and he was on artificial support system and I had to hand over the award to his wife," he added.

"Personally it is a big blow to the game in general and Indian cricket in particular", Dungarpur said.

"Hazare was a human being par excellence who had no enemies on or off the field," former chairman of selection committee and Hazare's teammate of yesteryears Chandu Borde said in Pune.

"Hazare was one of the finest batsmen I have ever come across. He always middled the ball and never edged it," Borde said, adding, he was fortunate to have played alongside one of the finest batsmen as a member of Baroda cricket team from 1955 to 1960.

"Hazare was very respected, a great human being, a great patriot who played with the heart on his sleeves," he added.

Condoling Hazare's demise former India wicketkeeper and chairman of selection committee Kiran More, said he was a great cricketer and a legend.

Former India captain Ajit Wadekar said that Hazare was a true professional who never threw away his wicket.

"It was he who taught us, including Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Sardesai, how to build an innings and never throw away our wickets easily and always try and stay at the wicket," he said.

"He was the greatest batsman of his era and his passing away is a big loss to the game in our country. Personally I am very saddened after hearing the news," Wadekar said.

"He was also very helpful to young cricketers and would guide them whenever we approached him. He was truly father figure to all of us," Wadekar added.

Another former skipper Nari Contractor said, "Hazare was my childhood hero and a very great gentleman. I am shocked to hear about his demise".

"My first first class century was against Baroda and Hazare was leading Baroda. He called me after the day's play and patted me on my shoulder saying 'well played young man'".

"He had immense concentration and stability and could build an innings step by step and also play attacking strokes when needed," he added.

"He was also the chairman of the selectors when I came on the national scene and according to me he was the most unopposed chairman I have ever seen because he always used to say the most important vote while picking the side should be that of the captain," Contractor said.

"Whenever I wanted tips or advice he would be attentive even though he would busy with other things," Contractor added.

Condoling Hazare's demise former India wicketkeeper and chairman of selection committee Kiran More, said he was a great cricketer and a legend.

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