Hemant Kanitkar, the former India Test cricketer, passed away aged 72 at his residence in Pune on Tuesday (June 9) night.
“Hemant Kanitkar was a versatile cricketer,” said Anurag Thakur, the honorary Secretary of Board of Control for Cricket in India. “He was an outstanding batsman for Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy, for a decade-and-a-half. He was also an excellent wicketkeeper. His second innings, as Selector and Guide to youngsters, was equally noteworthy. May the Almighty give his near and dear ones the strength to cope with this tragedy”
Kanitkar, father of Hrishikesh – also a former India cricketer – and Aditya, played his only two Tests as a specialist batsman in the home series against Clive Lloyd’s West Indies in 1974-75.
Kanitkar started his first-class career with a century on debut for Maharashtra against Saurashtra at the Poona Club, and represented the state till 1978.
“He represented Maharashtra with distinction from 1963-64 to 1977-78,” said Jagmohan Dalmiya, President of BCCI. “He played two Tests in the 1974-75 series against the West Indies, scoring an impressive 65 in his first Test innings at Bengaluru. He was a member of the BCCI’s All-India Junior Selection Committee in 1992-93 and 1993-94, and chaired the panel from 1996-97 to 1998-99. On behalf of the BCCI, I would like to extend my condolences to his family, and pray that his soul rests in peace.”
He was the highest run-getter in two Ranji Trophy seasons, including in 1970-71 when Maharashtra made it to the final, but lost to Bombay.
Kanitkar, who also kept wickets for Maharashtra, scored 5007 runs at an average of 42.79 with 13 centuries and 87 dismissals.