A stunning century: Oldest living Ranji player Raghunath Chandorkar to celebrate his 100th birthday

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Former Maharashtra and Mumbai first-class cricketer Raghunath Chandorkar is on the verge of achieving a feat as he is going to be 100 years old on November 21 – the oldest living Ranji player. He will also become only the third Ranji Trophy player to celebrate the 100th birthday as well. Notably, Vasant Raiji, who passed away this year in May in Mumbai, was one of the three players as well.

Raghunath Chandorkar, who used to be a middle-order batsman and leg-spin bowler and had featured in five Ranji Trophy matches for Maharashtra from 1943-44 to 1946-47. In the 1950-51 season, he played for Mumbai. Chandorkar currently stays in the Mumbai suburb of Dombivli.

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However, he is bedridden for the last six years and has lost his memory to Alzheimer’s, though watching cricket on TV is his favorite, said his daughter-in-law Vinita. “We don’t know what is going through his mind but he does watch cricket on TV,” she said. Currently, he is in an old age facility since September as a precautionary measure against Covid-19.

“He will be the third Ranji Trophy cricketer from India to complete 100 years after Dinkar Balwant Deodhar (14 January 1892 – 24 August 1993) and Vasant Naisadrai Raiji (26 January 1920 – 13 June 2020). It makes him the oldest living first-class cricketer from India,” said cricket statistician and historian Sudhir Vaidya.

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“I have a complete record of every Ranji cricketer from 1934,” added Vaidya. “I informed a few of the officials of the Maharashtra Cricket Association about it.”

Meanwhile, Murlidhar Marathe, who is the hon. secretary of the Dombivali Cricket Club has recalled that even at the age of 80, he used to ride his bicycle from his house to the cricket grounds which is four kilometers away.

“He was coaching well into his 70s. In the Thane, Kalyan, Dombivali, and Ambernath belt, Chandorkar was famous. He was regular with his fitness and maintained control over his diet,” he concluded.

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