Ajit Wadekar Biography
Ajit Wadekar is a former Indian cricketing great who has represented India at the international level, leading them to historic wins in Indian cricketing history. His full name is Ajit Laxman Wadekar and he was born on 1st April, 1941, in Bombay, Maharashtra.
Although his father wanted him to become an engineer, Ajit’s strong interest in the sport of cricket led him a long way to develop his love for the game. Thus, over the years, he eventually represented the Mumbai team at the domestic first-class level and India at the international level.
Ajit Wadekar was a spectacular left-hand batsman. He was also a fine slip fielder. Ajit Wadekar made his first class debut in 1958-59 for Bombay with some outstanding performances, and was then called to play for the Indian side in 1966. He made his Test debut in against West Indies at Mumbai in December 1996, and since then has appeared in 37 Tests, scoring 2113 runs, with his highest being 143. Ajit’s One Day International debut was against England at Leeds in July 1974, and since then he has played only 2 ODI’s, scoring 73 runs, with an ODI career best of 67.
However, the prime factor that highlights Ajit Wadekar’s cricketing career is his brilliant run as Indian captain since 1971. He was a ‘tower of strength’, leading a formidable side with the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Abid Ali, Farokh Engineer, and the famed Indian spin quartet (Bishen Bedi, E.A.S. Prasanna, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan), he was immensely successful, with historic series wins over West Indies and England, including the three successive series victories over England in 1972-73.
However, due to immense pressure and responsibility, Wadekar then lost all three Tests during India’s 1974 tour of England, ingloriously coined as ‘Summer of 42’, and then a disgraceful domestic run followed losing the Irani Trophy, Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy. It forced Wadekar to resign from his post of Indian captain and from first-class cricket altogether. Even after retiring from the game itself, Ajit has served Indian cricket by being the team’s coach/manager and serving as the Chairman of Selection Committee.