He was so quick behind the wickets that most batsmen found it hard to believe how quickly they had been stumped,” Shivalkar told mid-day on Monday
Former Mumbai wicketkeeper Sharad Hazare, 77, passed away at his residence in Andheri on Monday, incidentally, on his birthday. Hazare, who represented Mumbai in 44 first-class games between 1964 and 1977, was involved in 110 dismissals (81 catches and 29 stumpings).
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Former Mumbai left-arm spinner Padmakar Shivalkar, 82, who played along with Hazare for Mumbai as well as Tata Sports Club, rated the stumper highly for his skills behind the wickets besides his down-to-earth nature off the pitch. “Sharad was such a simple human being. His wicketkeeping skills were top-class. He was a natural. He was so quick behind the wickets that most batsmen found it hard to believe how quickly they had been stumped,” Shivalkar told mid-day on Monday.
Hazare would stand close to the stumps for pacers too without wearing a helmet and was equally effective. He nearly made the cut for Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi’s Team India against Bill Lawry’s visiting Australians for the Chennai Test in December 1969, but lost his place in the playing XI to Farokh Engineer. “For me, he was one of the best ‘keepers in India. It’s sheer bad luck that he was so close to getting a chance in the Indian Test team, but unfortunately missed out,” added Shivalkar.