Subhashchandra Pandharinath "Fergie" Gupte
(11 December 1929 in Bombay
– 31 May 2002, Port of Spain
, Trinidad and Tobago
) was one of Test cricket's finest spin bowlers
. Sir Garry Sobers
pronounced him the best leg spinner
that it had been his pleasure to see. <sup></sup>
Gupte flighted and spun the ball sharply, and possessed two different googlies
. The West Indians who toured India in 1958/9 reckoned that Gupte could turn the ball on glass. His only drawback perhaps was that he tended to lose confidence when the batsmen attacked his bowling.
He made his debut in 1951/2 and from the next season onward took over from Vinoo Mankad
as India's leading spinner. He was nicknamed after the West Indian leg spinner Wilfred Ferguson
. Gupte took 27 wickets in West Indies in 1952/3 and 34 against New Zealand at home in 1955/6. At Kanpur in 1958/9, he took nine West Indian wickets in an innings for 102 runs, and had Lance Gibbs
- the only batsman he missed - dropped by wicket keeper Naren Tamhane
. He once took all ten wickets in an innings for Bombay against Bahawalpur CC, and once in Lancashire league for Rishton.
His career ended in unfortunate circumstances in 1961/2. The Indian team was staying at the Imperial Hotel in Delhi during the Test against England. A.G. Kripal Singh
, Gupte's roommate, called up the receptionist and tried to fix a date with her. She complained to the Indian manager.
Since the board had already made up their minds of punishing both... Read More