Cricket: Renowned Saurashtra cricket coach Babi dies

Renowned coach Akabarkhan Babi, popularly known as ‘Babi Saheb’, has died, the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) informed on Thursday.

He was in his 80s and died on Wednesday due to old age related problems, the SCA said.

Babi was one of the pioneers in cricket coaching in Rajkot and nearby areas. He was involved with coaching for over four decades.

Many remarkable cricketers of Saurashtra, including former Test player Dhiraj Parsana, Uday Joshi, Niranjan Mehta, Mahendra Rajdev among others were coached by Babi.

Vandit Jivrajani and Kishan Parmar too were coached by Babi, while former India batsman Vinod Kambli had brief training stint under him.

According to SCA, Babi was probably the first coach to adopt the Australian method of cricket coaching in India and had also served as a coach in BCCI.

Former BCCI and SCA secretary Niranjan Shah condoled his demise.

“Babi Saheb was the man with quality, ethics and great cricketing capabilities. His dedication and contribution in cricket coaching shall be remembered forever,” said Shah.