Rajinder Goel breathed his last Sunday
The Indian cricket fraternity mourned the disappearance of the legendary first-class spinner Rajinder Goel, calling him a “master of his trade” whose “Bradminist” record made him a stalwart in domestic cricket.
Goel died Sunday of age-related illnesses. He was 77 years old and is survived by his wife and son Nitin Goel, who has also played first-class cricket and is a domestic match referee.
Paying a brilliant tribute to Goel, iconic hitter Sachin Tendulkar tweeted: “Saddened to learn of the passing of Rajinder Goel hee! He was a stalwart of Indian Domestic Cricket collecting over 600 wickets at the Ranji Trophy. May his soul rest in peace and my deepest condolences to his loved ones and close ones. ”
India head coach Ravi Shastri also greeted his trade in his message.
RIP Rajinder Goel hee. Master of his trade. Killer line and length on our land. Humility personified. Condolences to the whole family, ”he wrote on his Twitter page.
Goel, a left-arm spinner, had 750 first-class wickets out of 157 games, representing Haryana and North Zone in domestic cricket. He played 26 seasons of first-class cricket from 1958-59 and 1984-85.
Indian captain Virat Kohli also paid tribute to the deceased cricket player.
“We have lost a legend in Rajinder Goel Ji. Being the highest wicket-taker in the history of the Ranji Trophy, it says a lot about his career. Wishing his family and loved ones full strength,” Kohli tweeted.
Former India captain and current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly condemned his death and described him as a “giant” of domestic cricket, whose long career is a testament to his craft.
“The Indian cricket community has lost a giant of domestic cricket today. His amazing record tells you about his trade and the control he had over him, “Ganguly said in a BCCI statement.
“Having a career that lasts more than 25 years and still being able to perform consistently speaks to your dedication and commitment to the game. In order to choose 750 wickets, it takes years and years of hard work and I salute your efforts. I extend my sincere condolences to his family, “he added.
Goel was unlucky to have played in the era of the legendary Bishan Singh Bedi as he could never play for India. He was chosen for a test match in Bangalore during the 1974-75 series against the West Indies when Bedi was fired, but Goel was the twelfth man in that match.
Despite not playing for the country, Goel was never bitter about it and accepted his fate gracefully.
In offering his tribute, Bedi said he envied Goel’s sense of “satisfaction”.
“Rajinder Goel was easily the happiest human being I have ever met. I used to envy his sense of satisfaction “in my hectic moments … RIP Goel” … You dragged your heart to keep the Ranji Trophy alive … !! “he tweeted.
Cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar said he is amazed at Goel’s bowling history, calling it “bradmansco”.
“They have always been staggered by the records of Shivalkar and Rajinder Goel. Here’s the Goel’s FC record for you: 157 games, 750 wickets! 59 five-wicket sets and 18 times 10 wickets in one match. Average -18.58. That’s bradmanesque in the bowling alley: 5 wickets every 2.6 games. RIP Goel Sir, “he tweeted.
Indian starter Shikhar Dhawan also took to Twitter to express his condolences.
Rest in peace, Rajinder Goel, sir. My thoughts and prayers with the family. God bless your soul, ”Dhawan tweeted.
Former Indian hitter Laxman wrote: “Deeply saddened by the passing of Rajinder Goel, the greatest wicket wielder in Ranji Trophy history. My condolences to his family and loved ones. ”
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