Pune: The pioneer of cricket commentary in Marathi who made the game more popular in Maharashtrian households, Bal Pandit has passed away after a prolonged illness. The 86-year-old commentator breathed his last at a city hospital last night.
Described as an encyclopedia of Marathi synonyms for original cricketing parlance in English, Pandit endeared himself with fans of the game with his lucid live commentary of both international and domestic matches on All India Radio for over four decades, before the advent of 24X7 television channels. He had also played a lone Ranji Trophy match representing Maharashtra against Gujarat in 1959-60.
A prolific cricket writer, Bal wrote about 30 books and also penned newspaper and magazine articles on the subject, enhancing common man's knowledge of the game.
Maharashtra government had recognised his contribution to the game bestowing the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Award on him in 1978. His Marathi translation of Sunil Gavaskar's 'Sunny Days' became popular with the Marathi readers.
During his long association with the state cricket, Pandit also held position of selector of Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA).