At 97, Anandji Dossa leaves India for USA
A decade after deciding to leave India to live in America, former cricket statistician Anandji Dossa is doing an encore. At 97, mind you!
Dossa left in 2003, but returned soon because of ill health. He flies out to New York tonight to live with his daughters — one a doctor in New York; the other, an architect in Florida.
The famous statistician, whose work encompassed several decades in an age long before the Internet became part of our lives, was president of the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Scorers of India (ACSSI) when Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli’s 664-run school partnership was endorsed as a world record.
Dossa’s years as a top-notch statistician and scorer in the radio commentators’ box coincided with an era when not many players figured in an incredible number of Tests.
The player who topped the list during Dossa’s active years was England’s Colin Cowdrey, who played 114 Tests. That’s why he finds Sachin Tendulkar’s imminent milestone of 200 Tests nearly unbelievable.
Dossa says he doesn’t follow cricket now, but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a view. His friend Kishore Udeshi, who spent his Sunday morning with him, said that Dossa doesn’t think highly of Twenty20 cricket.
“But, when I highlight to him that this form of the game has helped India’s fielding and helped to make Test matches more result-oriented, he accepts my point. Anandjibhai is at his happiest while discussing cricket and he has a fantastic memory,” said Udeshi.
Former Test batsman Madhav Apte bid farewell to Dossa over the phone from Pune and Dossa had the simplest of requests. “I want your best wishes,” he told Apte.
When I asked Dossa the secret behind his longevity last year, he said, “Having plenty of friends.” Indeed, he has no shortage of them and their sadness over his departure is palpable.
They hope he completes his century three Septembers from now and they want to celebrate that feat with him on his return to India.