~~Hanumant was one of the best players of spin~~

Published: Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Former India captain, celebrated off-spinner S Venkataraghavan today condoled the death of one of his contemporaries, Hanumant Singh, who passed away here today.

''It's a great loss. He was grace personified and a gentleman cricketer,'' Venkat, who played for India alongside Hanumant in the home series against New Zealand in 1965, on the tour to England in 1967 and in another home series against West Indies in 1966-67, said.

Venkat said Hanumant was one of the finest players of spin he had known in the game.

''Hanumant was also a brilliant captain in his own right'', Venkat, himself known as a shrewd skipper in his playing days, observed.

Venkat also said he had shared some glorious moments on the field with Hanumant Singh, adding ''it's very unfortunate.

'Hanumant a dashing batsman off the back foot': Former India captain Ajit Wadekar today said in the demise of Hanumant Singh he had lost one of his very close friends.

''I played with him for many years for the State Bank team, along with Baloo Gupte, Sharad Diwadkar, Budhi Kunderan and I'm the only one of the five left now,'' Wadekar, one of the contemporaries of the late former India middle order batsman, said.

''We have shared some big partnerships for State Bank, and some great memories as well. He was a bit of an introvert, but a wonderful guy and a team man,'' he said.

Wadekar said the main thing about Hanumant was that he was a very good batsman off the back foot.

''It is very rare to find someone in India who is good off the back foot, generally all are front-foot players.'' ''It is amazing that his India career was curtailed by that so-called injury. Otherwise I have no doubt he would have gone on to score plenty of runs for India. Even after that he was absolutely and completely devoted to the game. For him it was just cricket, cricket, cricket, in whatever role he played,'' Wadekar added.

Another close friend, Nari Contractor, whom late Hanumant fondly called 'Chhotu', said his demise was not only a loss for Indian cricket, but also a personal loss to him.

''He was a brilliant player in his days and was doing his bit for Indian cricket by coaching youngsters. He was not afraid to take tough decisions and was a highly respected coach,'' Nari said.


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