BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has termed Rajinder Goel as a ‘giant of domestic cricket’ after the former Haryana spinner passed away on Sunday after a prolonged illness. Goel is the highest wicket-taker in Ranji Trophy history with 637 scalps.Also Read - Ranji Trophy to be Held in Two Phases: BCCI

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“The Indian cricketing community has lost a giant of domestic cricket today,” Ganguly said in a statement on Sunday. “His staggering record tells you about his craft and the control he had over it.” Also Read - Kapil Dev Requests Virat Kohli and Sourav Ganguly to Put Country Before Anything Else, Urges Them to Resolve the Issue

Overall, Goel played 157 first-class matches in which he claimed 750 wickets at 18.58 including 59 five-wicket hauls and 18 ten-wicket hauls.

“To have a career that lasts more than 25 years and still be able to perform consistently speaks about his dedication and commitment towards the game. To be able to pick 750 wickets needs years and years of hard work and I salute his efforts. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family,” Ganguly added.

Goel never got to play for India but continued to play professional cricket till 43. After retiring, he served as match referee and also as the chairman of Haryana selection committee.

“Rajinder Goel Ji was a true servant of Indian Cricket. He was a role model for many current and upcoming spinners. His longevity should inspire upcoming cricketers to excel and improve every time they take the field. BCCI honoured him with Col. CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. I extend my condolences to his family in this hour of grief,” BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said.

BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal also paid his tribute. “Rajinder Goel Ji was a stalwart. He continued to be associated with the game even post his retirement and often turned up to watch young kids play and always extended his guidance. He is the highest wicket-taker in the history of Ranji Trophy. My heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones,” he said.