Madhav Apte's ouster after 460 runs in a series is still a mystery

Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar and HDFC head honcho Deepak Parekh released As Luck Would Have It, the autobiography of former Test cricketer Madhav Apte at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.

Former India opener Madhav Apte (left) signs a copy of his book for ex-India player Yajurvindra Singh at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday. Pic/Suresh KK

Apte and Gavaskar enjoy a common factor in their international careers. Both opening batsmen made a mountain of runs on their first tours to the West Indies. Gavaskar’s 774 runs in the 1970-71 series is part of Indian cricket folklore while Apte, who toured the Caribbean in 1953, scored 460 runs in five Tests. However, the similarity ends there as Apte was strangely never picked for India after that series.

Gavaskar, while regaling the audience with anecdotes galore, too wondered why Apte wasn’t picked again and hoped it would be in Apte’s book.

Madhav Apte in 1953. PIC: Apte’s autobiography ‘As Luck Would Have It’

After the tour of West Indies, in the next season, Apte played the first unofficial Test against a Commonwealth team and was never picked again. Apte writes in the book: “My sudden disappearance (exit) from Test cricket, especially after an impressive record, was never explained. Lala Amarnath chaired the selection committee. During the second Test in Bombay, curiously he approached me with a request to meet my father. He wanted cloth distributionship of the Kohinoor Mills for Delhi! He came home to meet my father. Bhausaheb (Apte Sr), was shrewd enough to put two and two together! He and me, both of us would never have liked to link my cricket career and business.

“He politely declined Lala’s distributorship proposal! Lala continued to be Chairman of selections for a few years! I was never selected to play Test cricket again!”

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