Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Salim Durani, who died on Sunday, an institution in himself who contributed immensely to India’s rise in the world of cricket.
Durani, the stylish India cricketer of the 1960s known as much for his six-hitting prowess as for his movie-star looks and fine dressing sense, was 88 and breathed his last in Jamnagar, Gujarat.
Durani, who was born in Kabul, played 29 Tests and was a member of the India side that won the historic five-Test series against England in 1961-62.
”Salim Durani Ji was a cricketing legend, an institution in himself. He made a key contribution to India’s rise in the world of cricket. On and off the field, he was known for his style. Pained by his demise. Condolences to his family and friends. May his soul rest in peace,” wrote Modi on twitter.
The PM also remembered the late cricketer’s association with Gujarat. Durani played domestic cricket for Saurashtra and Gujarat.
”Salim Durani Ji had a very old and strong association with Gujarat. He played for Saurashtra and Gujarat for a few years. He also made Gujarat his home. I have had the opportunity to interact with him and was deeply impressed by his multifaceted persona. He will surely be missed,” wrote Modi.
Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said Durani inspired a generation of cricketers in India.
”Sad to hear about the demise of Salim Durani Ji, a true inspiration to generations of cricketers in India. His talent and skills on the field will continue to inspire us,” said Thakur.
BCCI secretary Jay Shah said Indian cricket had lost one of its crown jewels in Durani’s death.
”Gutted to hear about the passing away of one of Team India legends Salim Durani. Today, we have lost one of Indian cricket’s crown jewels,” wrote Shah.
Sachin Tendulkar in his condolence message wrote, ”Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Salim Durani ji. A really warm and loving person. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.” Former India chief coach Ravi Shastri said Durani was one of the most colourful cricketers the country had produced.
”Easily one of the most colourful cricketers of India – Salim Durani,” tweeted Shastri.
Even though Durani scored just one century, his uncanny ability to score sixes on public demand and his stature as a domestic giant made him one of the cricketing icons of the country.
The all-rounder scored 8,545 runs in 170 first-class games and also took a mindboggling 484 wickets with his left-arm spin.
”India’s first Arjuna Award winning cricketer and a man who hit sixes on public demand, Salim Durani,” tweeted former India batter VVS Laxman, while former India cricketer and ex-national women’s team coach WV Raman said he was a huge fan of Durani.
”You have not seen that sportsperson, but you develop a great sense of admiration and wish you were lucky to see that sportsperson in action. Very rarely you become a fan boy of someone just by hearing about him/her. That is what #SalimDurani did to you,” wrote Raman.