Former India international cricketer Madhav Apte passed away in Breach Candy Hospital on September 23 morning, aged 86. He featured in seven Tests for India in a span of five months. He made his debut against Pakistan in 1952. He slammed a hundred and 3 half-centuries, all in West Indies; he averaged a staggering 49.27 and was never picked again. He also played alongside DB Deodhar and Sachin Tendulkar.
He made his first-class debut on his 19th birthday. He amassed 3,336 First-Class runs at an average of 39 in 67 matches and captained Mumbai to Ranji Trophy titles in 1958-59 and 1961-62.
Apte initially started out as a leg-spinner, but later on, became a frontline batsman. Apart from cricket, he also excelled in tennis, squash and badminton.
In the 1987-88 season, at the age of 55 for CCI at Shivaji Park Gymkhana. He played against a young 14-year-old Sachin Tendulkar. He may not be the most popular name in cricket, but it is fascinating to know that he played with Sunil Gavaskar, DB Deodhar and also Tendulkar.
Four years back, Apte released his autobiography ‘As Luck Would Have It’, at the iconic Wankhede Stadium and the event was attended by several dignitaries.
The optimistic Apte was once quoted by Espncricinfo, as saying, “All I can say is I wouldn’t have wanted my life to be any different. Of course, the greatest gift is really the game of cricket. Because that’s one game, and at least I have been saying it over and over again, that is a great leveller. And there is no recovery in that. The classic example is that of Sir Donald Bradman, bowled second ball off Eric Hollies when he needed only four runs to have a career average of 100. That’s what makes for the glorious uncertainty of this game.”