Former India cricket captain Ajit Wadekar, who died on August 15, was cremated at the Shivaji Park crematorium here today with full state honours.
Wadekar, who had led India to its first victory in West Indies and England in 1971, had passed away at a South Mumbai hospital after prolonged illness. He served Indian cricket in different capacities — as manager, coach and a selector. A batsman par excellence, he was also the first to captain India in the One-Day Internationals.
Wadekar’s body was kept at his Worli residence this morning for his well-wishers to pay their tributes. Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, Vinod Kambli, Sameer Dighe, former hockey captain M M Somaiya and past and present officials of the Mumbai Cricket Association offered their prayers and condolences.
BCCI General Manager (Cricket Operations) Saba Karim also paid tributes on behalf of the Cricket Board. Politicians cutting across party lines, including Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut also offered their prayers.
Wadekar’s body was then taken to the Shivaji Park Gymkhana (SPG) in Dadar in Central Mumbai in an open truck. At the Gymkhana, former India cricketers Sandeep Patil, Nilesh Kulkarni, domestic cricket stalwart Padmakar Shivalkar and officials of the SPG also offered their last respects to departed soul.
Jatin Paranjpe was also present at the Gymkahna, while his father Vasu Paranjpe was there at the crematorium. Wrapped in the Tricolour, Wadekar’s body was later taken to the crematorium.
A few of his well-wishers remembered the late India captain after the rituals were performed. In the presence of family members and well-wishers, Wadekar was bid a tearful adieu as Mumbai Police gave him a gun salute.