Mumbai: Former India all-rounder Bapu Nadkarni, best known for bowling a record 21 successive maiden overs in a Test match, passed away on Friday, family sources confirmed.
Nadkarni was 86 and is survived by his wife and two daughters.
"He died of old-age related problems," his son-in-law Vijay Khare told PTI.
Nadkarni, a left-handed batsman and slow-left arm orthodox bowler, played 41 Tests in which he scored 1,414 runs and grabbed 88 wickets with 6/43 as his best bowling figures.
Nadkarni was a Mumbai stalwart having played 191 First Class matches and taken 500 wickets and scored 8,880 runs.
The Nashik-born Nadkarni made his Test debut against New Zealand in Delhi in 1955 and played his last Test at Auckland against the same opponents in 1968 under MAK Pataudi's captaincy.
However, he rose to fame after he bowled 21 successive maidens. His figures in that Madras (now Chennai) Test read 32-27-5-0.
He was known more for his accuracy as he also had Test match figures like the 1960-61 series against Pakistan where he returned with figures of 32-24-23-0 at Kanpur followed by 34-24-24-1 in Delhi.
Sunil Gavaskar said it was a personal loss for him as he fondly recollected Ndkarni's pro-active role as an assistant manager who doubled up as a tactician during India's tour of Australia in 1980-81.
"He came as an assistant manager for quite a number of our tours. He was very encouraging. His favourite term was "chhoddo mat" (hang in there). He was a gritty cricketer despite playing in the days when gloves and thigh pads were not very good, not much protective equipment as you would get hit. But still hang in there as he believed in "chhoddo mat",' Gavaskar told reporters in Rajkot on Friday.
"Every time he was on a tour he was very, very helpful in terms of strategy. At lunch time or team time, he would say try this if you were a fielding captain. He would tell bring this bowler, or ask this bowler to bowl round the wicket. He was fantastic. Indian cricket has lost a real champion."
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar condoled the death of former India Test player Bapu Nadkarni, calling him a "fine all-rounder of Indian cricket".
"A fine all-rounder of Indian cricket has been lost with the demise of Bapu Nadkarni. He was called the world's most parsimonious spinner due to his record of 21 consecutive maiden overs," Pawar, a former BCCI president, noted.
"Feel saddened that an era has come to an end with the demise of Bapu Nadkarni. Heartfelt tributes to him!" the NCP chief added.
Tributes started to pour in on micro-blogging website Twitter after the news of his demise was made official, and Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar was among those who offered their condolences. Here are some of the reactions:
Very sad to hear about the demise of Shri Bapu Nadkarni. I grew up hearing about the record of him bowling 21 consecutive maiden overs in a Test. My condolences to his family and dear ones. Rest in Peace Sir🙏. pic.twitter.com/iXozzyPMLZ
" Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) January 17, 2020
BCCI mourns the sad demise of Bapu Nadkarni. The 86-year-old breathed his last at his daughter's residence in Mumbai on Friday. https://t.co/IKx9mpOTnB pic.twitter.com/ghxNAZKVpB " BCCI (@BCCI) January 17, 2020
Deeply saddened to hear of R G 'Bapu' Nadkarni passing away. He got renown for his parimonious bowling, particularly the amazing 21 consecutive maiden overs v England in 1964. But he was also a stouthearted batsman, fine fielder and above all, an endearing human being. RIP
" Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) January 17, 2020
He once bowled 21 maiden overs in a row.. was a dour, determined batsman who never flinched .. 'khadoos' is the best way to describe Bapu Nadkarni who passed away today.. part of the great Mumbai generation of the 50s and 60s RIP " Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) January 17, 2020
With inputs from PTI