Mumbai: Batsmen scoring centuries are common matter be in any form of the game. However, a century in real life is an event to cherish. And if a cricketer hits a century in real life, it calls for real celebrations. However, the pandemic coronavirus has affected all forms of celebrations to a great extent. So even if the Mumbai or the Maharashtra Cricket Association wants they will not be able to celebrate the 100th birthday of former cricketer Raghunath Chandorkar. The first class cricketer will turn exactly 100 November 21. In the process Raghunath Chandorkar will become India’s oldest living Ranji Trophy player. He is also the third cricketer to achieve such a feat.
The other twp oho achieved the feat are Dinkar Deodhar (14 January 1892 – 24 August 1993) and Vasant Naisadrai Raiji (26 January 1920 – 13 June 2020).
Chandorkar was a middle-order batsman and leg-spin bowler. He represented Maharashtra in five Ranji Trophy games from 1943-44 to 1946-47. In the 1950-51 season he turned out for Mumbai. Now he lives a bed-ridden life in the suburb of Dombivli here for the last six years. He has lost his memory to Alzheimer’s, though watching cricket on TV is among the few things that piques his interest. This information was shared by daughter-in-law Vinita. “We don’t know what is going through his mind but he does watch cricket on TV,” she said.
As a safety precaution against COVID-19, the about-to-be 100 Chandorkar was shifted to an old age facility in September.
It was under the guidance of Deodhar, that Chandorkar played for SP College and PYC Gymkhana in Pune. “I have a complete record of every Ranji cricketer from 1934,” said the 82-year-old cricket statistician and historian Sudhir Vaidya. “I have informed a few of the officials of the Maharashtra Cricket Association about it,” he added.
In ‘ESPNcricinfo’, Chandorkar’s record is listed as having played seven first class matches from 1943-44 to 1950-51 with a highest score of 37.
“He was coaching well into his 70s,” said Murlidhar Marathe. He is the secretary of the Dombivali Cricket Club. “In the Thane, Kalyan, Dombivali and Ambernath belt, Chandorkar was famous,” he added.
Marathe recalled that even at the age of 80, Chandorkar would ride his bicycle from his house to the cricket grounds four kilometres away. “He was regular with his fitness and maintained control over his diet,” he said.