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Domestic stalwart Rajinder Goel no more

The former left-arm spinner grabbed 750 first class wickets in a career span of 27 years
Rajinder Goel

TT Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 22.06.20, 02:04 AM

Legendary first-class spinner Rajinder Goel died on Sunday owing to age-related illnesses.

He was 77 and is survived by his wife and son Nitin.

Goel was one of two Sunil Gavaskar’s ‘Idols’ who never played a Test. The other being Mumbai’s Padmakar Shivalkar.

In a career spanning 27 years, the former left-arm spinner Goel grabbed 750 first class wickets and remains Ranji Trophy’s highest wicket-taker with 637 scalps.

He was a prominent figure in the early 1970s but the closest he came to earning an India cap was when he was included in the squad ahead of the first Test match of the series against West Indies in 1974-75.

The left-arm spinner, who was unlucky to have played in the era of Bishan Singh Bedi represented Patiala, Southern Punjab, Delhi, Haryana and North Zone in domestic cricket.

It was Bedi who presented him the BCCI’s CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Rajinder Goel was easily the most ‘contented’ human being I’ve known...I used to envy his sense of ‘contentment’ in my moments of turmoil. RIP ‘Goely’.. You bowled your heart out to keep Ranji Trophy alive..!!” Bedi tweeted.

“The Indian cricketing community has lost a giant of domestic cricket today. His staggering record tells you about his craft and the control he had over it. To have a career that lasts more than 25 years and still be able to perform consistently speaks about his dedication and commitment towards the game. To be able to pick 750 wickets needs years and years of hard work and I salute his efforts. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family,” BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said. 

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