Vijay Hazare

Vijay Hazare

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Vijay Hazare

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Vijay Samuel Hazare (11 March 1915 – 18 December 2004) was an Indian cricket player from the state of Maharashtra. He captained the Indian cricket team in 14 matches between 1951 and 1953. In India's 25th Test match, nearly 20 years after India achieved Test status, he led India to her first ever Test win (and the only victory under his captaincy) in 1951-52 against England at Madras, winning by an innings and eight runs in a match that began on the day that King George VI died.

Early life

Hazare was born in a working-class Marathi Christian Protestant family in Sangli, Maharashtra in 1915, one of eight children of a schoolteacher.

Hazare says, "I will never forget my humble beginning and my faith." At one point, it seemed his faith was an obstacle to his career. He relates an instance when he was invited to play for the Hindu Gymkhana. The invitation was a very prestigious honor. Anyone who played for the Hindu Gymkhana was sure to be invited to the Indian team. Vijay turned down the offer saying, "I am a Christian.' (In those days, only Hindus were allowed to play on the team). Vijay's stand was vindicated when Mr. De Mello, the President of the Cricket Control Board decided that the talented persons from other communities should also be given a chance. His decision led to the founding of the Catholic Gymkhana Cricket Team.

Primarily a right-hand batsman, Hazare was also a right-hand medium-pace bowler. A "shy, retiring" man...
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