Wadekar, Adjit

WADEKAR, AJIT
An aggressive left-hand batsman, Adjit Wadekar’s name will forever be linked with 1971, when he led the Indian team to historic triumphs in the West Indies and England. He will always be remembered as the captain who brought unprecedented glory to Indian cricket.

Wadekar made his first-class debut in 1958-50 but had to wait eight years before playing for India in 1966-67, despite a string of big scores around the domestic circuit. He was a tower of strength to the Indian batting for seven years, playing valuable knocks depending upon the state of the game. He was one of the best No. 3 batsmen in the history of Indian cricket and one of the finest slip fielders. He played 41 Test matches, official and unofficial (4) from 1966 to 1974 continuously without a drop. Wadekar captained the Indian cricket team from 1970 to 1974. In 1971, he proved himself to be a capable captain, if not a shrewd tactician, and a combination of circumstances, and a fair share of good fortune, led to India beating the West Indies and then England on their own soil for the first time in the history of Indian cricket.

A third successive series triumph over England, this time at home, followed in 1972-73 and Wadekar was at his peak as batsmand and captain when he led India to England in 1974. In 1976, he captained the World XI against Pakistan and won the series.

From 1992-1996, he was the manager of the Indian cricket team, the longest period for any cricketer to serve in that position. Out of 21 series, the team won 14 and drew four. He also was the chairman of the national selection committee for the Indian cricket team for three years from 1998 onwards.

In 2007, Ajit Wadekar joined the India Cricket League (ICL) where he served a march referee, but was released from his contract with the unofficial league and was granted amnesty by the BCCI in 2009. He is an honorable member of M.C.C., Lords, England and in 2010 received “Mother Theresa International Award” for services rendered to physically challenged cricketers.