2012 saw some big names from the cricketing fraternity passing away. Here’s a recap.
Tony Greig: A towering personality, Tony was a great commentator, arguably the best of the lot. Owing to this, it is often forgotten that he was an equally good all-rounder during his playing days. Born Anthony William Greig in Cape Province, South Africa, Greig went on to play for England, and with great credibility. He played 58 Tests and scored 3599 runs at an average exceeding 40 with eight hundreds and 20 fifties with a highest of 148. With the ball, he scalped 141 wickets with six five-wicket hauls. He averaged 32.20 and his best bowling figures in a match were 13/156. Most controversially, he joined Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket (WSC) and was associated with the Channel 9 commentary team till the very end.
B. B. Nimbalkar: A giant of Indian domestic cricket, it is one of biggest tragedies that Bhausaheb Nimbalkar never represented the national team. His first-class career lasted from 1939-1965. In this span, he played 80 matches and amassed 4841runs at average of 47.93 with 12 tons. He also picked up 58 wickets with the ball. He is most remembered though for his mammoth 443 not out, which he registered for Maharashtra against Kathiawar in a Ranji Trophy gamein the 1948-49 season. He played for India in a unofficialTest, representing the Commonwealth squad in 1949-50.
Kevin Curran: An all-rounder from Zimbabwe, Curran represented the nation in the 1983 and 1987 World Cups. He career was reduced to 11 ODIs, in which he made 287 runs with two 50s at an average of 26. With the ball, he averaged 44. It was as an overseas player in the English county where he made a serious impression. His first-class career lasted 324 games during which he scored over 15000 runs and claimed 605 wickets. He returned to the Zimbabwe fold and was the national coach from 2005 to 2007.
Runako Morton: A talented West Indian batsman, Morton was only 33 when he was killed in a car crash, leaving behind an unfulfilled career. In a career that spanned eight years, Morton played 15 Tests in which he managed only 573 runs with four 50s at an average of 22.03. His ODI career was a little more productive. Morton scored 1519 runs in 56 games with 10 fifties and two hundreds at an average of 33.75. He was often in the news for the wrong reasons – lying about his grandmother’s death in 2002 and was even arrested in 2004 over a stabbing incident though he wasn’t charged.
Tom Maynard: A 23-year-old, who was highly rated in the English county circuit, was tragically killed in an accident in June. Maynard was in fine form for Surrey this season. Overall, he played 48 first-class games and scored 2384 runs with four hundreds and an average of 32.65, and a highest of 143.
Raja Ali: A batsman who represented Madhya Pradesh with distinction passed away at the age of 36 in October following a cardiac arrest. Ali played 87 first-class games in which he made 4337 runs with nine hundreds at an average of 38.38.
--By A Cricket Analyst