Indian cricketer who batted as twelfth man passes away

Indian cricketer who batted as twelfth man passes away

He batted in the match on the insistence of the captain.

Cricket stumps
(Photo by Jason O’Brien – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

There have been several instances when cricketers went on to represent two teams, both in the international and domestic circuit. The likes of Dirk Nannes, Ed Joyce, Luke Ronchi and Eoin Morgan have played cricket for two separate international teams. On the other hand, players like Wasim Jaffer, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan have played for multiple teams in the domestic circuit.

However, there has been one rare occasion when an Indian cricketer batted as the twelfth man. Delhi cricketer Prem Bhatia played in the inaugural Irani Cup played between the Rest of India and Ranji Champions, Bombay at the Railway Stadium in New Delhi in March 1960. Unfortunately, the player breathed his last in the city at the age of 78.

Bhatia- an integral figure

During the game, Prem Bhatia was the twelfth man of the team. However, Lala Amarnath, who captained the Rest of India side at the age of 48, called for Bhatia to be able to bat in both innings. Meanwhile, Lala Amarnath only bowled and fielded in the game. Bhatia didn’t let him down and scored 22 and 50 in the game.

The game was eventually won by Bombay based on first innings and they emerged as the first winners of the Irani Cup. Prem Bhatia has been a fulcrum of the Delhi Ranji team for eleven years. He played 55 games in which he has scored 2543 runs at an average of 31.31 with a top-score of 151. Meanwhile, he also notched six centuries and 12 half-centuries to his name.

The Irani Cup has come of ages ever since its inception in 1960 and the 56th edition has recently been played between the Rest of India, led by Karun Nair, and Vidarbha, led by Faiz Fazal. Vidarbha emerged victorious for the maiden time by humbling their opponents on the basis of first innings.

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