E.D. Solkar Biography
E.D. Solkar (1948-2005) is a former Indian Test and ODI cricketer who dazzled the world of cricket with his genuine all-rounder skills. His full name was Eknath Dhondu Solkar and he was born on 18th March, 1948 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Despite being born into a family with humble roots, his father being the groundsman at the P J Hindu Gymkhana in Bombay,Solkar put behind his lowly birth to pursue his passion for cricket, eventually becoming a legend of the game. E.D. Solkar, aged 57, passed away on 26th June, 2005 due to a cardiac arrest, leaving behind an inspirational path to budding cricketers of the next generation. The major teams that E.D. Solkar has represented are India, Mumbai and Sussex.
Nicknamed ‘Ekki’, he received immense respect on and off the field, from renowned players and fans alike. Eknath Solkar was a true all-rounder of the game, affectionately called ‘poor man’s Garry Sobers’ because of his ability to bat anywhere in the order, bowl both left-arm medium-pace and orthodox spin, as well as his brilliant fielding at the feared ‘suicide position’- the forward short leg.
E.D.Solkar made his Test debut for India against New Zealand at Hyderabad in October 1969. Since then he has played in 27 Tests, scoring 1068 runs at 25.42, scalping 18 wickets, and 53 amazing catches. Solkar has also played in 7 One Day internationals, scoring 27 runs, taking 4 wickets, and 2 catches. Eknath Solkar was renowned for his close-in fielding and has several notable performances, such as in the West Indies series victory at Port of Spain (1970/71) taking a record six catches in a Test and India’s first series victory over England (1971) at the Oval, where he played well, even disposing off Alan Knott, leading to the collapse of England’s innings. Always under the limelight, Solkar’s career sadly ended when he buckled under stress and performance pressure, however he remains amongst the greatest cricketers of India.
Solkar’s fielding efficiency proved invaluable to the team when he along with the famed Indian Spin quartet, comprising Bishen Singh Bedi, B.S. Chandrashekhar, Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan and E.A.S. Prasanna, together formed a devastating force, challenging many of the world’s cricketing greats and winning numerous matches for India. For his immense dedication to Indian cricket, E.D. Solkar was awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award in 1972.