The right-handed batsman was often described as “the man who nearly beat Bradman” for scoring 443 not out for Maharashtra against Kathiawar in a Ranji Trophy match in 1948-49. At the time, Nimbalkar’s knock was second only to Don Bradman’s 452 not out.
Nimbalkar didn’t show anger or overreact when he was denied the opportunity to break Don Bradman’s then world record score of 452 runs, revealed Madhu Rege.
Speaking exclusively to MiD DAY from his Pune residence, Rege, possibly the only member of the 1948-49 Maharashtra team alive, said, “Yes, Nimbalkar felt sorry for it but didn’t show anger or react strongly despite it being certainly against the spirit of the gentlemen’s game.
In 1948-49, playing for Maharashtra against Kathiawar at Pune, Nimbalkar made 443 not out, but he was unable to break the record because, with the total standing at 826 for 4 at the lunch interval, the Kathiawar side conceded the match.
Rege was not aware of the fact that Bradman sent a personal letter to Nimbalkar saying that he considered Nimbalkar’s innings better than his own.
“Our captain, Raja Gokhale went to them and requested them to allow Nimbalkar to score those ten runs, but they didn’t listen,” Rege said.
According to former Dadar Union player and coach Vasu Paranjape, a member of the Kathiawad team, who owned a sports goods shop in Matunga, told the players to hire cabs and leave for Pune station immediately so that Nimbalkar was deprived of the world record.