World's oldest first-class cricketer Vasant Raiji passes away

Vasant Raiji
Vasant Raiji played nine first-class matches in the 1940s. Photo: Twitter/BCCI
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Mumbai: World's oldest first-class cricketer Vasant Raiji died in the wee hours of Saturday. He was 100.

Raiji, a right-handed batsman, played nine first-class matches in the 1940s and scored a total 277 runs. He opened the batting for Bombay and Baroda in the Ranji Trophy, and was a reserve for the Hindus team in the 1941 Bombay Pentangular. Two of two highest scores came in Baroda's victory over Maharashtra in 1944-45, when he made 68 and 53.

On March 7 this year, Raiji became the oldest living first-class cricketer in the world following the death of Englishman John Manners.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) expressed grief over the demise of Raiji.

"It is with profound sadness that BCCI has learnt of the passing of Vasant Raiji, a former first-class cricketer and historian, who had turned 100 earlier this year on 26th January," the BCCI tweeted.

Raiji turned historian following his cricketing career. He was also a chartered accountant by profession.

Following the death of B K Garudachar in February 2016, Raiji became India's oldest first-class cricketer.

His 100th birthday was attended by Steve Waugh and Sachin Tendulkar at his residence.

"Wishing you a very special 100th birthday, Shri Vasant Raiji. Steve & I had a wonderful time listening to some amazing cricket stories about the past. Thank you for passing on a treasure trove of memories about our beloved sport," Tendulkar had tweeted.

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