One of the promising as well as unlucky batsman of his generation, Madhavrao Apte passed away on Monday Morning at Breach Candy hospital at the age of 86. Madhavrao was hailed to be one of the perfect opening batsmen by Mumbai who later went on to represent India with an average of close to 50.00 in 7 Tests. Madhavrao averaged 51.11 with a best score of 163* in the West Indies Tour representing India while he was one of the rare cricketers at that time who scored a Century on Ranji Debut.
He is believed to be one of the most unfortunate cricketers to have not got more opportunities to play for the country despite scoring runs heavily vs the best bowling attack of that time. In an interview to ESPN a few years bacl, Madhavrao Apte stated “he still doesn’t know the mystery behind his sudden dropping from the Indian Team despite starting the career in such a promising way”
Madhavrao Apte was also a crucial top order bulwark of Mumbai too averaging close to 40.00 with 2070 Ranji Trophy runs & 3336 runs overall. Such was his passion for the game he kept on playing with the same enthusiaism till the late sixties.
Madhavrao Apte also served as the president of the iconic Cricket Club of India (CCI) in Mumbai. During his tenure with CCI, he is said to have played a pivotal role in a decision taken at the club in the 1987-88 – tweaking the strict age-limit rules at the club to include a 15-year-old Sachin Tendulkar to represent the club as a player. He officially started serving the CCI club since 1989 making some major changes for the development of Mumbai Cricket. There are also number of tournaments in Mumbai which are conducted in the honor of his name.
Madhavrao Apte is also the only player to have played alongside D.B Deodhar – the “Grand Old Man of Indian Cricket” and Sachin Tendulkar. In the domestic season of 1987-88, 55-year old Apte was playing for the CCI at Shivaji Park Gymkhana vs a 14-year old Tendulkar!. The next year which followed, as the president of CCI, he changed the rules of the dressing room to permit Tendulkar to be a playing member of the club.
In 2000, the former Test opener enjoyed a fresh stint when he was appointed as the “Sheriff of the Mumbai City”. He also made his debut as an author in 2015 when he released a book called “As Luck Would Have it” which received a warm response from the cricket community.
One man many roles, a test cricketer, a domestic stalwart, a sheriff, CCI President, an author and last but not the least a thorough gentleman who leaves behind wonderful memories.
Madhavrao Apte is survived by his wife Sheela son Vaman & Mithila, and daughter Radhika, Janhavi and Rajiv and grandson Vikram & sister Kuma
The body will be brought to his residence at Woodland Apts, Pedder Road
around 12.15 noon today, after which it will be taken to Shivaji Park crematorium.