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Raj Singh Dungarpur passes away

Last updated on: September 12, 2009 15:04 IST

Raj Singh Dungarpur (right) with Chandu BordeFormer BCCI president Raj Singh Dungarpur died in Mumbai on Saturday following protracted illness.

Affectionately called as 'Rajbhai' in the cricket fraternity, the 73-year-old Dungarpur, who was president of the Cricket Board for three years in the late 1990s, was suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

A bachelor from the Dungarpur royal family of Rajasthan, he was also a former first class cricketer, a former India team manager and ex-chairman of the senior selection panel.

A former president of the Cricket Club of India (CCI) for 13 years before he took ill last year, Dungarpur died at his residence on Saturday morning.

The funeral will be held on Sunday, according to sources close to him.

Born on December 19, 1935 as the youngest son of Maharawal Lakshman Singhji, the ruler of Dungarpur, he played Ranji Trophy for Rajasthan for 16 years, between 1955 and 1971, as a medium-fast bowler.

The gangling bowler captured 206 wickets in 86 matches and rubbed shoulders with stalwarts like Vijay Manjrekar, Hanumant Singh and Salim Durrani. But he never played for the country in Tests.

He studied at the Daly College in Indore and got close to former India skipper C K Nayudu whom he held in very high esteem till his death. His elder brothers -- Jaisinghji and Mahipalsinghji -- are living in Rajasthan.

Dungarpur was also a close friend of melody queen Lata Mangeshkar.

Dungarpur managed the Indian teams on its tours of England in 1982, 1986 and was the manager of the squad that toured Pakistan in 1984-85 and 2005-06.

It was Dungarpur who was instrumental in amending the rules of the CCI to allow Sachin Tendulkar use its dressing room as a 14-year-old and smoothen things for the champion batsman very early in his glittering career.

He headed the selection panel that chose Tendulkar in the team captained by Krish Srikkanth for the tour to Pakistan in 1989-90.

It was also a selection panel with Dungarpur at its helm that elevated Mohammed Azharuddin as the captain of the Indian team and paved the way for what he later termed as the "Team of the Nineties" which included Tendulkar and Anil Kumble, among others.

"Mian, captaan banoge? [You want to become captain?]," were the famous words he uttered to Azharuddin before making the Hyderabad stylist the captain as replacement for the out-of-form Srikkanth in 1989-90 when India toured New Zealand.

As the BCCI president, he was always available to give his views on any development when contacted by media persons.

Photograph: Pradeep Mandhani

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