Vasant Raiji, the former Bombay and Baroda batsman and prominent cricket historian, has died aged 100. Raiji had been the world’s oldest living first-class cricketer, and Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar and Steve Waugh visited him at his Mumbai home when he turned 100 on January 26 this year.
“He passed away at 2.20am in his sleep at his residence in Walkeshwar in South Mumbai due to old age,” his son-in-law Sudarshan Nanavati was quoted as saying by PTI.
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Raiji played nine first-class matches in a career that ran from 1939 to 1950, scoring 277 runs at an average of 23.08. He scored two half-centuries, both in the same Ranji Trophy game for Baroda against Maharashtra in December 1944.
With the passing away of Vasant Raiji #RIP, the oldest living first-class cricketer in the world is New Zealander Alan Burgess (born 1 May 1920), who appeared in 14 FC matches, mostly for Canterbury from 1940 to 1952 as an all-rounder.
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) June 13, 2020
After his playing career, Raiji turned his attention to chartered accountancy, but retained close links to cricket, writing a number of books on the sport including biographies of Ranjitsinhji, Duleepsinhji, CK Nayudu and Victor Trumper.