Udayavni Special

Former Test cricketer Rajinder Pal passes away


Team Udayavani, May 10, 2018, 11:24 AM IST

New Delhi: Former Delhi cricketer Rajinder Pal, who had represented the country in one Test match, passed away at his Dehradun residence yesterday, family sources confirmed. 

“My elder brother Rajinder Pal passed away yesterday at his Dehradun residence. He was 80 years old and is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter,” his younger brother Ravinder Pal, also a former first-class cricketer said. 

A right-arm medium pacer, Rajinder Pal played his only Test match against England (then known as MCC) during the 1963-64 series at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. He bowled 13 economical overs (0/19 in 11 overs & 0/3 in 2 overs) in that Test but returned wicket-less, which forced the selectors to replace him with a much quicker Ramakant Desai for the next Test match. 

Incidentally, along with Rajinder Pal, the other debutant was leg spin wizard Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, who went onto have a distinguished international career. However, it was domestic cricket where Rajinder Pal was a force to reckon with, scalping 337 wickets from 98 first class games with 23 five wicket hauls. 

He served Delhi for a decade in Ranji Trophy, followed by stints for Southern Punjab (Punjab had two teams in Ranji then) and Haryana. After his retirement, he was involved in coaching junior cricketers and settled in Dehradun. 

A few months back, he came to Delhi to attend a felicitation function of former state captains organised by the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). In the function, he regaled everyone with anecdotes of his playing days and his relationship with Tiger Pataudi. 

The hurt was palpable in his voice as he felt that Indian cricket establishment didn’t give him his due.

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