Madhav Apte’s innings comes to an end at 86

Mumbai, September 23

Veteran cricketer Madhav Apte died after suffering a cardiac arrest here this morning, a family member said. He was 86. 

The former India and Mumbai opener was admitted to the Breach Candy Hospital where he breathed his last at 6.09am, his son Vaman Apte said. Apte played seven Tests (1952-53) in which he scored 542 runs, with one hundred and three fifties to his credit. His highest score was 163 not out.

He had a much better First-Class record where he scored 3,336 runs from 67 matches, including six hundreds and 16 fifties. His highest First-Class score was 165 not out. He made his Test debut against Pakistan at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) in Mumbai in November 1952 and played his last Test against West Indies at Kingston in April 1953. In his debut Test, he made 30 and 10 not out. 

Trailblazer as opener

He was the first Indian opener to aggregate over 400 runs in a Test series (460 runs against West Indies in 1953). Strangely, he was never picked up for Test cricket after that. He also captained Mumbai in domestic cricket. Madhav Apte was given the role of a an opening batsman by the legendary Vinoo Mankad. He played with several legends of the game, including Mankad, Polly Umrigar, Vijay Hazare and Rusi Modi. He also served as the president of the iconic CCI. He played the Kanga League till he was 70 years old. Till his last breath, he was the president of the Legends Club, a group formed to celebrate the achievements of different sportspersons.

Till the age of 84, Apte played squash and badminton and was a good friend of 15-time national badminton champion Nandu Natekar.

His funeral was held in the afternoon at Shivaji Park crematorium and attended by veteran cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar and former Mumbai stalwart Milind Rege. National selector Jatin Paranjpe, his father Vasu Paranjpe and noted cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle were also present.

Former Mumbai cricketer Shishir Hattangadi offered his condolences: “Madhav Apte had a bag of stories. From Vinoo Mankad to his buddy Subhya Fergie Gupte. To listen to him was rewinding cricket history. Dignified affable yet accessible as senior. RIP.” — PTI