Madhav Mantri dies aged 92


Madhav Mantri, the former India wicketkeeper, has died following a heart attack at a private clinic in Mumbai on Friday. He was 92.

Mantri played four Tests for India in the 1950s, and though he couldn’t quite establish himself in the national team, he was a consistent performer for a dominant Bombay side on the domestic circuit. He captained Bombay to three Ranji titles, and scored 2976 runs at an average of 53.14, besides taking 69 catches and 23 stumpings.

He was admitted to hospital on May 1 after suffering a mild heart attack, and died after another heart attack early on Friday morning.

Mantri, who was Sunil Gavaskar’s uncle, was a national selector from 1964 to 1968 and the Mumbai Cricket Association president from 1988 to 1992. He was also manager of the Indian team on the England tour of 1990, and served as BCCI treasurer between 1990 and 1992.

The BCCI called Mantri’s demise a big loss to Indian cricket. “Indian cricket will be indebted to him,” BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said. “Several cricketers, from Sunil Gavaskar to Sachin Tendulkar, had the privilege of being guided by him in their formative years.”

The Mumbai Cricket Association also paid tribute. “He may have looked diminutive, but Madhav Mantri was well and truly one of the giants of Mumbai and Indian cricket,” Sharad Pawar, the MCA president, said. “The game of cricket and cricket administration were dearer to him than anything else.”

Pawar also praised Mantri’s cricketing insights. “A visionary, he was among the earliest cricketing gurus in India to recognise and emphasise the importance of fielding, at a time when this department of the game was not valued as much as batting and bowling.”