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 living first class cricketer (March 2020)

See this updated list of the longest lived first-class cricketers:

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

Snapshot of this on 19 Mar 2020:

Oldest f-c cricketers

For several years John Manners was the oldest living first-class cricketer. He died on 7 March in England. After this the only living first class cricketer aged over 100 is Vasant Raiji of Mumbai, who turned 100 on 26 Jan this year.

And John Manners remains the oldest ever MALE first class cricketer.

There is an older FEMALE Test player still living in England:

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

Eileen Ash is going strong at 108+, being born on 30 Oct 1911 (a few months after Ronald Reagan). Links to various articles about her can be seen from her Wikipedia page given above.

The longest-living Indian first-class cricketer was Professor DB Deodhar (1892-1993) who lived to be 101/222. Mr Raiji could theoretically surpass this in September 2021.

Only one Test cricketer has crossed 100, South Africa’s Norman Gordon (1911-2014). Will take up long-lived Test cricketers shortly.

A related post:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2020/01/26/indias-oldest-living-first-class-cricketer/

 

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