RIP Ranjan Baindoor: The off-spinner-batsman, who never stopped smiling

Ranjan Baindoor, the former Railways and Mumbai Ranji Trophy off-spinner passed away yesterday after a massive heart attack. Baindoor (62), also well known for his contribution to Tata Sports Club and Khar Gymkhana, was chairman of selectors of the Mumbai U-19 team.

Ranjan Baindoor
Ranjan Baindoor

Salim Durrani, the former India all-rounder, who played in the same Khar Gymkhana team, was deeply saddened when mid-day conveyed the news of Baindoor's death to him. "Ranjan grew as a cricketer in front of my eyes, this is so shocking. He was also my neighbour when I lived at Khar," Durrani said from Jamnagar.

Baindoor first played for the Railways in 1974-75 and made his Bombay debut in 1975-76. In 1983-84, he made a comeback in the Bombay team for his batting as well.

Milind Rege, his senior at Tatas and 1977-78 Ranji Trophy skipper, recalled Baindoor's great season with the bat in 1983-84: "Apart from being a very fine off-spin bowler, he was a sound batsman. I suggested he open the innings for Tatas and he got two double hundreds and 150 against good sides in the Times Shield."

In the 1983-84 Ranji Trophy semi-final against Haryana, Baindoor scored 96 at No 7 in a star-studded batting order led by Sunil Gavaskar. In the second innings, he batted one-drop and scored 86. In the final against Delhi which Mumbai won, Baindoor got injured while batting in the second innings.

Shishir Hattangadi, another Tatas and Bombay teammate, said: "Ranjan was the most affable teammate I've known. He was the lifeline of the Tatas team in the 1980s and he always enjoyed his teammates' success."

"Ranjan used to always remember how we both danced while traveling to Goa on a ship for the Arlem Trophy. We interacted a lot recently since he was chairman of selection of the U-19 team," said Mumbai Ranji Trophy coach Chandrakant Pandit.

The cricketing fraternity came out in strong numbers to bid farewell to Baindoor yesterday.

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