India’s oldest first-class cricketer Vasant Raiji has recently passed away. He was 100-year-old.
Ace cricket statistician Mohandas Menon took to his official Twitter handle and confirmed that Raiji–who appeared in nine first-classs matches for Bombay and Baroda–is no more.
“Cricketer Vasant Raiji who turned 100 years on 26 January this year is no more!He played in 9 first-class matches from 1939 to 1950 for Bombay and Baroda.#RIP,” he tweeted.
Menon further confirmed that New Zealand’s Alan Burgess, who was born on May 1, 1920 and played in 14 first-class matches from 1940 to 1952 as an all-rounder, is now the oldest living first-class cricketer in the world after the demise of Raiji.
On January 26, 2020, Raiji celebrated his 100th birthday with legendary cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Steve Waugh at his residence.
“Wishing you a very special 100th birthday, Shri Vasant Raiji. Steve & I had a wonderful time listening to some amazing cricket stories about the past. Thank you for passing on a treasure trove of memories about our beloved sport,” Tendulkar wrote on Twitter along with the picture from celebration.
Former cricket historian Raiji had scored 277 runs at a batting average of 23.08 in nine first-class games he played during his cricketing career.
Following his retirment from the game, Raiji switched to writing and went on to become the author of several important works on early Indian cricket.
He became India’s oldest first-class cricketer after the death of B. K. Garudachar in February 2016 before becoming oldest living first-class player in the world on March 7 this year, after the passing away of England’s John Manners.