Cricketers Deaths-2020

There are two lists here.

First for Test players:

and then for others (including prominent limited-overs players, female players, domestic players and others connected with the game):

The most well-known Test players here include ED Weekes, JH Edrich, JR Reid, DM Jones and CPS Chauhan.

Some of the deaths were clearly linked to Covid, notably that of CPS Chauhan.

A point of interest is that JE Manners was the longest-lived first-class player at the time of his death at 105. Another centenarian Vasant Raiji passed away at 100. For a few months he was the longest living first-class player.

Rajinder Goel was one of the leading wicket-takers in Indian domestic cricket but was unfortunate to play at a time when there were too many established spinners competing for Test places.

“Chuni” Goswami had a good record in domestic cricket but he was better known for his soccer skills. He captained India to a rare gold medal in the Asian Games besides playing in the Rome Olympics.

Who is Raghunath Chandorkar?

The name would not have been familiar even to sports writers in Mumbai until recently.

The basic information about his first-class career is here:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/player/raghunath-chandorkar-27863

Note that he has a younger brother, also a first-class cricketer, who is living at 87.

Now there is nothing remarkable about his cricket career (except perhaps that he played along with DB Deodhar and Vasant Raiji, the only other Indian f-c cricketers to cross 100).

In June 2020, he became India’s longest-living first class cricketer following the death of Vasant Raiji. Later in 2020 he celebrated his 100th birthday. Following the death of NZ player Alan Burgess in early 2021, Raghunath became the world’s oldest living first-class player.

This article seems to have the most recent picture of him:

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/sports-news-raghunath-chandorkar-becomes-third-indian-cricketer-to-complete-a-century-of-birthdays/364928

This live link gives the list of all first-class players who lived to be over 100:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_oldest_cricketers

If he is still living a little more than a year from now he will become India’s longest-living f-c player (after Deodhar). By July 2026, he would have become the oldest such player from all countries, (after John Manners). On the way he would pass the record of N Gordon, the only Test player here who lived to be a little over 103.

He may not be fully aware of his and other’s records, as he has been a patient of Dr Alzheimer for some time. He lives in an old-age home in Mumbai.

India’s oldest living cricketer

Raghunath Chandorkar, who played for Bombay and Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy, is now the third Indian player to cross his celebrate his 100th birthday. He is the only such player living now.

See this and the linked article:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/27863.html

He is duly entered in Wikipedia’s list:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_oldest_cricketers#Longest-lived_first-class_cricketers

He is the 26th first-class cricketer to cross 100 and the 2nd oldest who is still living. The New Zealand player Alan Burgess is a few months older.

See their pictures here: https://cricketaddictor.com/cricket/raghunath-chandorkar-india-oldest-living-cricketer-celebrates-100th-birthday/

Vasant Raiji passed away earlier this year soon after crossing 100.

The only Test player to cross 100 was the South African Norman Gordon (1911-2014).

The world’s oldest (and oldest living) Test cricketers

First we look at the longest-lived Test cricketers:

From Wikipedia:

Longest lived Test players

Only one Test cricketer crossed a century here, South Africa’s Norman Gordon (1911-2014). He played in 5 Tests against England in 1938-39. He is also 4th on the list of the longest-lived first-class cricketers.

Then there is this list from Cricinfo’s records section (not Statsguru):

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283740.html

Screenshot of this on 24 Mar 2020:

Longest lived Test players-2

If you consider “famous” players who played in 25 or more Tests, the oldest would be Wilfred Rhodes (95/252) followed by Syd Barnes (94/251) and Bob Wyatt (93/353).

The oldest Test player from India is MJ Gopalan (94/198) followed by (the strange case of) C Ramaswami  (93?) and MK Mantri.

Next we look at the oldest living Test cricketers today:

From Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_oldest_cricketers#Oldest_living_Test_cricketers

As on 24 March 2020:

Oldest living Test crickters

Again, this includes some lesser-known players. For a better idea we go to Cricinfo again:

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283742.html

Screenshot of this  on 24 Mar 2020:

Oldest living Test cricketers-2

Taking a minimum of 25 Tests, the oldest well-known player is the last of the 3 Ws (Everton Weekes) at 95+ followed by John Reid at 91+, Neil Harvey at 91+ and Colin Macdonald also 91+ . The last two played in Laker’s Test in 1956.

The oldest from India are Datta Gaekwad (91+), CD Gopinath (90+) and CT Patankar (89+).

 

 

India’s oldest living first-class cricketer

Vasant Raiji, who played in first-class cricket for Bombay and Baroda in 1938-50, celebrates his 100th birthday on Republic Day, 2020:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/33480.html

A news item from 26 Jan 2020:

https://www.hindustantimes.com/cricket/india-s-oldest-living-first-class-cricketer-vasant-raiji-hits-a-century/story-1IsG9ZUFj83Vk2uoXYtj8K.html

Among other things, he wrote some cricket-related books including a biography of one-Test player LP Jai.

At this stage, it is worth looking at the oldest first-class cricketers from all countries. This is one of the subjects where Wikipedia is more useful than Cricinfo:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_oldest_cricketers#Longest-lived_first-class_cricketers

From this, we can see that Mr Raiji is the 24th first-class cricketer to cross 100.

The only other player from India is the better known DB Deodhar, who lived to be 101+.

The only Test player to cross 100 was the South African bowler N Gordon, 103+ :

http://www.espncricinfo.com/southafrica/content/player/45239.html

All of his 5 Tests were in the 1938-39 SA v Eng series, including the famous timeless Test:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17542/scorecard/62657/south-africa-vs-england-5th-test-england-tour-of-south-africa-1938-39

Meanwhile, we look at other long-lived Test players.

The longest-lived Test players of all time:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_oldest_cricketers#Longest-lived_Test_cricketers

New Zealand’s Eric Tindill is the only other Test player to cross 99. India’s representative is MJ Gopalan at 94+.

In case you are thinking of the strange case of C Ramaswami, it is now generally accepted that he died in Jan 1990 at 93+ :

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/33059.html

Interestingly, Wisden carried his obituary in the 2015 edition only in the “supplementary obituaries” section. This included the obituaries of some who were killed in the Great War and had somehow not been covered by Wisden until then. Better late (by 100 years) than never.

C Ramaswami obit

The oldest living Test cricketers are here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_oldest_cricketers#Oldest_living_Test_cricketers

This is led by South Africa’s John Watkins (96+) while India’s representative is DK Gaekwad (91+), captain of the 1959 team and father of AD Gaekwad.

Some of these lists are also in Cricinfo but they are not updated frequently. For instance, the list of oldest-lived Test players

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283742.html

includes at least two (CK Singh of WI and Rajinder Pal of India) whose deaths have been reported elsewhere.

Also see:http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283740.html

Another long-lived Indian FC player was BK Garudachar, who celebrated his 99th birthday soon before he died in 2016:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/29090.html