2021 wasn’t less tragic than the previous year when the entire world came to a standstill due to the Covid-19 pandemic. People tried getting back to normal but the second wave, which was even more lethal than the previous one, hit us again. Amid all this chaos, the cricketing world also lost some of its finest stars who once startled the followers of the game with their unparallel talents.
As we usher into a new calendar year, let’s pay a tribute by remembering those gems of cricket.
Yashpal Sharma: The 1983 World Cup winner died on July 13, at the age of 66. Yashpal suffered a heart attack after returning from a morning walk and collapsed at around 7.30 am at his residence in Noida. Yashpal was India’s second-highest scorer of the 1983 World Cup with an aggregate of 240 runs from 8 innings at an average of 34.28.
Avi Barot: Barot’s untimely death on October 16 was a piece of shocking news for the entire cricketing fraternity. Saurashtra batter Avi Barot, a former India Under-19 captain and a member of the Ranji Trophy-winning team in the 2019-20 season, has died after suffering a cardiac arrest at a shockingly young age of 29. He had played 38 first-class matches, 38 List A matches and 20 Domestic T20 games.
Vasu Paranjpe: The Indian cricketing fraternity lost a guiding light in Vasu Paranjpe this year. On August 30, Paranjape had his last breath. He was 82 years old and is survived by his wife, retired professor Lalita, two daughters and former India cricketer and national selector son Jatin. One of the greatest coaches and mentors, he was entrusted by late Raj Singh Dungarpur to oversee the Indian team’s preparatory camp in Mumbai (Bombay back then) before the 1987 World Cup and had also assisted legendary Dennis Lillee during the formative years of MRF Pace Foundation.
Tarak Sinha: Sinha, just like Paranjpe, is one of the renowned Indian coaches who produced cricketers like Ashish Nehra, Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant. On November 6, Sinha breathed his last after battling lung cancer. Affectionately known as ‘Ustaad ji’, he used to train cricketers at The Sonnet Club which acted as Delhi’s supply line.
Eileen Ash: World’s oldest living Test cricketer, Ash died at the age of 110. She played seven Tests for England in the 1930s and 1940s, taking 10 wickets at an average of 23 with her right-arm pace bowling. She participated in the Ashes tour to Australia in 1949 apart from playing representative cricket for Civil Service Women, Middlesex Women and South Women in the domestic arena.
A homage to all cricketers and officials who passed away in 2021
Jack Lihou (Australia)
Stewart Gemmell McKnight (New Zealand)
Alan Thomas Burgess (New Zealand)
Vivalyn Latty-Scott (West Indies)
Donald Victor Smith (England)
Colin Campbell McDonald (Australia)
Tahir Mahmood Mughal (Pakistan)
Wayne Bernhardt Stuger (USA)
John Thomas Ward (New Zealand)
Abdul Bhamjee (South Africa)
Douglas William Bowden (New Zealand)
Guy Mitchell Shuttleworth (England)
Ezra Alphonsa Moseley (West Indies)
Bruce Richard Taylor (New Zealand)
John Bryant Gannon (Australia)
Edward Robert Moore (Ireland)
Said Ahmed Shah (Pakistan)
Amyand David Buckingham (England)
RT Ramachandran (India)
Robert Torrens (Ireland)
Thomas Flaws (Otago)
Joseph Emmanuel Benjamin (England)