Vasudeo Paranjape, Mentor To Many Indian Cricketing Greats, Is No More

by Karan Kamble - Aug 31, 2021 05:45 PM +05:30 IST
Vasudeo Paranjape, Mentor To Many Indian Cricketing Greats, Is No MoreRepresentative image for cricket
Snapshot
  • Former cricketer, coach, and mentor Vasudeo Paranjape has passed away at the age of 82.

    He shaped the careers of several India cricketing greats over decades.

A mentor of cricketing greats across generations, such as Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sachin Tendulkar, and Rohit Sharma, is no more.

Former cricketer and renowned coach Vasudeo Paranjape passed away aged 82 at his Mumbai residence on Monday (30 August).

He played 29 first-class games for Mumbai and Baroda between 1956/57 and 1969/70, making 785 runs at an average of 23.78, with two centuries and two half-centuries.

With his slow left-arm orthodox bowling, he took nine wickets at an average of 36 and a best of 4/49.

In Mumbai club cricket, Paranjape represented Dadar Union, where he was a captain and coach to cricketers like Gavaskar.

But he shone through especially as a guide and mentor. “With his excellent grasp of the game, he shaped the careers of several Mumbai and India stalwarts. Equipped with technical nuances, Shri Paranjape used his man-management skills to great effect,” a statement by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said today (31 August).

According to the BCCI statement, Paranjape was appointed as the Director of Coaching by the Board in the 1980s and was a Head Coach of camps for junior cricketers. He was later an early pick in the role of a coach when the National Cricket Academy (NCA) kicked off in 2000.

Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif, S Sriram, S S Das, and others went on to represent the national team from the first batch of the NCA.

“There was never a dull moment as he would regale us with fascinating stories of cricketers, whom we looked up to while growing up. He has played a stellar role from behind the scenes in nurturing cricketers, who have served Indian Cricket with distinction,” the BCCI president and former Indian cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly said in the statement.

“Early in my career, I remember him telling me in Marathi, ‘You watch out for the first 15 minutes and the opposition will watch you for the rest of the day’.” Sachin Tendulkar said in a tweet today.

He wrote that Paranjape “was an integral part of my cricketing journey” and now, after his death, he feels like “a piece of me has left the world”.

Paranjape was present, and even participated in a panel discussion, before the launch of Tendulkar’s autobiography, Playing It My Way.

A book about Paranjape, authored by Indian cricketer, selector, and Vasudeo’s son Jatin Paranjape and noted cricket journalist Anand Vasu, was published in September last year.

Called Cricket Drona: For the Love of Vasoo Paranjape, the book tells the life story of Paranjape in the words of the many great cricket players he coached and mentored over the years.

Rohit Sharma wrote in the book, “Without (Vasu) Sir by my side in those early years, I would not have been able to achieve as much as I fortunately have.”

In a video for the book’s publisher Penguin, Gavaskar said his nickname “Sunny” was given to him by Paranjape. He added that he was grateful for Paranjape's teaching.

“All of us at Dadar Union can’t thank him enough for his guidance, for his spirit, and most importantly, for him being the conscience-keeper of our beloved game, cricket. We learnt from him that we must always stay true to the game,” Gavaskar said.

Condolences

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