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10 Facts about Hemant Kanitkar – The Maharashtra Stalwart

Hemant Kanitkar
Hemant Kanitkar. (Photo Source: ESPNcricinfo Ltd)

Hemant Kanitkar will always be remembered as a stalwart for Maharashtra in domestic cricket. Kanitkar was a gritty batsman who had a very versatile playing style. Apart from being a batsman, he was a solid wicketkeeper. Kanitkar used to play the late cut extremely well. Also, he could hit a six over extra cover on demand. After getting done with his playing career, Kanitkar served as a coach and selector for Maharashtra. He also chaired the national junior selection panel from 1996-97 to 1998-99. The cricketer passed away on June 9, 2015.

1. Birth:

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Hemant Shamsunder Kanitkar was born on 8th December 1942 in Amravati, Maharashtra.

2. Domestic debut:  

Kanitkar made a superb debut in national cricket. Kanitkar made his first-class debut just a few days short of turning 21 in 1963. He celebrated the upcoming occasion by scoring 151 not out against Saurashtra. Kanitkar was the second man after Khandu Rangnekar to score a ton on Ranji debut for Maharashtra. Only Vijay Zol and Kaushik Aphale have scored more on their first appearance for Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy.

3. India debut:

It was at the age of 30, that Kanitkar was selected to play for the national team. He earned the India cap after having three highly successful seasons for Maharashtra where he aggregated 2596 runs at an average of 61.81

4. Memorable innings against the fearsome West Indies:

He made his debut solely as a batsman for India in the home series against Clive Lloyd’s West Indies in 1974-75. Facing the West Indies attack led by Andy Roberts at Bangalore, Kanitkar batted at number three and top-scored with 65 in his debut Test innings in Bangalore.

5. Bad luck follows:

He was given the openers role in the second innings and could only score 18. He was dropped from the playing XI following scores of 8 and 20 in his next two innings.

6. Honors:

For his consistent performance in the domestic cricket, Hemant Kanitkar was awarded Indian Cricketer of the Year in the year 1973.

7. His son:

It is a lesser known fact for casual cricket fans that Hemant Kanitkar is the father of Hrishikesh Kanitkar. Hrishikesh is a former left-handed batsman who played for India in 2 Tests and 34 ODIs.

8. Sporting family:

Apart from Hrishikesh Kanitkar being a former international cricketer, Hemant Kanitkar’s second son, Aditya Kanitkar played Golf and his daughter-in-law, Radhika Tulpule is a former Tennis professional.

9. Family business:

The Kanitkar’s run a construction company in the name of Kanitkar & Sons.

Also Read – 10 Indian cricket stars and their business involvements

10. Career overview:

Hemant Kanitkar scored over 5,000 runs at an average of 42.78 in his 14-year long domestic career which includes hitting 13 centuries and 23 half-centuries. The best innings of his career was 250. As a wicketkeeper, he has 87 dismissals to his credit, 68 of them were catches.

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