Vijay Hazare’s response to India’s first win against England at Madras was a simple, “Well Played”. This was because Hazare always preferred his bat to do the talking. And talk it did. In an era, where India had just about taken to cricket, Hazare played 30 Tests, an scored more than 2000 runs at an average of almost 48. As a gentle medium pace bowler, his claim to fame was the fact that he picked up Don Bradman’s wicket thrice, including once for a lowly 13.
It was in first class cricket that he shone even more, scoring 19k runs and picking up almost 600 wickets at averages of 58 and 25 respectively, the best by far in that era. He also became the first Indian to score two first class triple centuries, but more importantly, the first Indian batsman to score a century in each inning, and the first to score three consecutive hundreds. Some of the other records that he held were, highest partnership for any wicket – till it got broken by Jayawardena and Sangakkara recently – of 577 runs, first Indian player to score 50 centuries in first class and also the first cricketer to be honoured with the Padma Shri.
He captained the Indian team, and was later one of the selectors for the same. The Ranji Trophy One Day tournament has been named after the great man, i.e. its called the Vijay Hazare Trophy in his fond memory. He was also the first cricketer to win the Padma Shri.
- India Vs England at Lord's, London - Jun 22, 1946
- Last played:
- India Vs West Indies at Sabina Park, Kingston - Jamaica - Mar 28, 1953