Chetan Pratap Singh Chauhan, popularly known as Chetan Chauhan, was the epitome of fearlessness. Be it any match, any venue or any stadium, Chauhan would not break a sweat. Born July 21, 1947, hailing from Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, Chauhan played an integral role in India’s success from 1970s to 1980s. Opening with Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar, the duo was a dangerous pair. Gavaskar’s patience and resilience along with Chauhan’s grit and relentlessness made the two openers being hailed as one of the greatest pairs.
Coached by former Maharashtra cricket Kamal Bhandarkar, Chauhan played at university level and as he shined with his performances, especially in the Interzonal Vizzy Trophy, he was called up to the Maharashtra squad in 1967. The ‘fearless’ Chauhan continued to impress in Interzonal tournaments. After smashing a century in the Duleep Trophy final, Chauhan was called up to the Indian cricket team in 1969-1970.
Since being called up to the Indian cricket team, the opener went on to play 40 Test matches in his career, where he scored a total of 2084 runs. Chauhan also played 7 One Day Internationals (ODI), in which he has scored only 153 runs.
After retiring from cricket, Chauhan turned to politics where he was elected twice to the Lok Sabha from Amroha in UP in 1991 and 1998. The former India opener was also appointed the Chairman of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) from 2016 to 2017.
From 2018 to 2020, Chauhan was the minister for Youth and Sports in Uttar Pradesh. In 2020, Chauhan was tested positive for COVID-19 virus. Due to complications and multiple organ failure, the player passed away at the age of 73 on August 16, 2020.
Here are some of the lesser-known facts about Chetan ‘The Fearless’ Chauhan as we celebrate his birth anniversary on July 21:
16 Fifties, No Century: In his decorated career, Chauhan is amongst the few who has not scored a century in his Test career despite being an opener. He has scored 2,084 runs in 40 Test matches played and has scored 16 half centuries, but no century. The closest Chauhan has reached his 97, his highest in Test cricket.
Boundaries as Opening Runs: In his debut Test match against New Zealand in 1969, it took Chauhan nearly 25 minutes to get off the mark, however, he did in style. Chauhan scored a boundary, which was followed by a maximum off Bruce Taylor.
Coach and Player: In 1980s, Chauhan was appointed for dual role of a coach and as a player for Adelaide Cricket Club for nearly three years. Chauhan wanted to improve his financial situation, and when he went to Australia, the paycheck from each match kept him happy.