Dattajirao Gaekwad Age, Death, Wife, Family, Biography & More

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Hometown: Vadodara, Gujarat
Age: 95 Years
Death Date: 13/02/2024

Dattajirao Gaekwad's photo

Full nameDattajirao Krishnarao Gaekwad [1]India Today
Nickname(s)DK [2]
ProfessionCricketer (Batsman)
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 178 cm
in meters- 1.78 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 10”
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourGrey
International DebutTest- 5 June 1952 vs England at Headingley, Leeds
Last MatchTest- 13 January 1961 vs Pakistan at Corporation Stadium, Chennai
Domestic/State TeamBaroda
Coach/MentorCS Nayudu
Batting StyleRight hand Bat
Bowling StyleRight arm Medium, Legbreak
Personal Life
Date of Birth27 October 1928 (Saturday)
BirthplaceVadodara, British India (now Baroda, Gujarat, India)
Date of Death13 February 2024
Place of DeathVadodara, Gujarat
Age (at the time of death)95 Years
Death CauseAge-related ailments [3]
Zodiac signScorpio
Signature/AutographPostal envelope autographed by Dattajirao Gaekwad, created by the Baroda Cricket Association in his honour
Nationality• British Indian (1928-1947)
• Indian (1947-2024)
HometownVadodara, Gujarat
SchoolMaharani Chimnabai High School, Vadodara
Relationships & More
Marital Status (at the time of death)Married
Wife/SpouseUshadevi Gaekwad
Dattajirao Gaekwad with his son and wife
ChildrenSon- Anshuman Gaekwad (former Test cricketer)
Dattajirao Gaekwad with his son, Anshuman Gaekwad
Daughter(s)- Geeta, Sunetra, and Nandini
ParentsFather- Krishnarao Gaekwad
Mother- Name Not Known
OthersGrandson- Shatrunjay Gaekwad (crickter)
Dattajirao Gaekwad with his grandson Shatrunjay Gaekwad

A picture of Dattajirao Gaekwad

Some Lesser Known Facts About Dattajirao Gaekwad

  • He was athletic since childhood and developed an interest in cricket when he was seven.
  • Dattajirao was related to the Royal family of Baroda. At the age of 11, he was called upon by the royal family to stay at Laxmi Vilas Palace, Baroda as a companion to Prince Fatehsinghrao Gaekwad. Recalling the same, in an interview, he said,

    When I was about eleven years old, I went and stayed in the palace. Fatehsinghrao who was a prince then wanted a companion and a committee was formed to select the same. I was selected along with two more boys. So, we used to stay in the palace with the young prince who was two years smaller to me.”

    Thereafter, Dattajirao grew up playing cricket at the palace.

  • At 12, he started training under cricketer CS Nayudu. It was Nayudu who launched under-14 and under-16 tournaments in Baroda. CS Nayudu was well-known for the leg-spin-googly bowling style, which Dattajirao learned from him. Later in his career, Dattajirao also became associated with CS Nayudu’s elder brother Col. CK Nayudu, who was a selector at that time.
  • His talent in cricket was first recognized during inter-university cricket competitions, where he initially represented Bombay University, before moving to play for Maharaja Sayajirao University upon its establishment.
  • He served as the Deputy comptroller to the Baroda state.
  • Gaekwad went on to become the first captain of Maharaja Sayajirao University’s cricket team.
  • Apart from cricket, he was also a part of the Maharani Chimnabai High School’s hockey team that participated in inter-school tournaments.
  • In 1947-48, he joined the Baroda cricket team and started competing in the Ranji Trophy, a domestic first-class cricket championship. He remained a key player of the team for over 15 years.
  • He played in the Baroda cricket team alongside various renowned players like Vijay Hazare, Gul Mohammad, Chandu Borde, Sadu Shinde, and Amir Elahi.

    Dattajirao Gaekwad (left) shaking hands with Kapil Dev (right)

    A picture of Dattajirao Gaekwad (left) shaking hands with Kapil Dev (right)

  • He hit his first century for Baroda, 108 runs, against Bombay at the Polo Ground, Baroda.
  • In the 1949-50 Ranji season, he scored a century in each innings against Gujarat.
  • Under his captainship, Baroda won the 1957–58 Ranji Trophy defeating Services in the final at the Moti Bagh Stadium in Baroda. In the match, while Gaekwad scored a century (103), Vijay Hazare scored a double century (203).

    Baroda Cricket Association commemorated Dattajirao Gaekwad's 92nd birthday by inscribing his picture with the Ranji Trophy on a glass frame

    Baroda Cricket Association commemorated Dattajirao Gaekwad’s 92nd birthday by inscribing his picture with the Ranji Trophy on a glass frame

  • Another significant moment during the 1957–58 Ranji Trophy was when Gaekwad scored 218 against the defending champions Bombay.
  • His highest score in domestic cricket was 249 not out against Maharashtra in 1959-60.
  • He played for Baroda till 1961 during which scoring 3139 runs (47.56), including 14 centuries.
  • Sadly, he couldn’t perform as well in international Test matches as he did in domestic cricket.
  • During the 1952 tour of England, he made his Test debut for India. Although he had no prior experience as an opening batsman, he opened for India during the tour.

    An old picture of Dattajirao Krishnarao Gaekwad

    An old picture of Dattajirao Krishnarao Gaekwad

  • He was selected to play for India in the final Test against the West Indies during the 1958-59 series. His second-inning contribution of 52 runs, his only fifty in Test cricket, helped India secure a draw in the match.
  • He became the tenth captain of India’s cricket team during its 1959 tour of England. In the eleven Test matches he played, he captained the Indian team in four, and unfortunately, they lost all those matches under his leadership.

    Dattajirao Gaekwad in 1959

    Dattajirao Gaekwad in 1959

  • Reportedly, he fell ill with typhoid after his selection as the captain. Despite not being in the best health, he participated in 23 out of 33 first-class matches and was among the top run-scorers for the team, making 1174 runs with an average score of 34.52.
  • Originally, Hemu Adhikari was chosen to captain the Indian team for the 1959 England tour, but after he stepped down, the leadership role was passed on to Gaekwad.

    Polly Umrigar, Datta Gaekwad, Denis Compton and Vijay Manjrekar at the British Sportsman's Luncheon at the Savoy, London on 21 April 1959

    Polly Umrigar, Datta Gaekwad, Denis Compton and Vijay Manjrekar at the British Sportsman’s Luncheon at the Savoy, London on 21 April 1959

  • Many say that Gaekwad became India’s captain due to nepotism as he had close ties to Fatehsingh Gaekwad, the then Maharaja of Vadodara, who was also the manager of the national team.
  • Apart from his captaincy and batting, Gaekwad was also known for his fielding and could field at any position.. Once, former Indian cricketer Chandu Borde talked about Gaekwad and said, He was a brilliant cover fielder, his pickup and underarm throw was superb.”
  • Dattajirao played 11 Test matches in his cricketing career between 1952 and 1961 during which he scored 350 runs.
  • He played 110 first-class matches in which he scored  5,788 runs, maintaining an average of 36.40.
  • During the 1960s, Gaekwad held the position of co-secretary with the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA).
  • He was the coach of the Baroda team for years and he trained many former first-class as well as ex-international cricketers.

    Dattajirao Gaekwad posing with an award

    Dattajirao Gaekwad posing with an award

  • In 1977-78, Gaekwad became the coach for Ajit Lele, the son of the late JY Lele, who was a secretary for both BCCI and BCA. At this time, Ajit was competing in under-19 cricket.
  • His grandson Shatrunjay Gaekwad has also represented Baroda in the Ranji Trophy.
  • In 2016, after former player Deepak Shodhan passed away at 87 in Ahmedabad, Dattajirao Gaekwad became India’s oldest living Test cricketer.
  • In 2020, on his 92nd birthday, the postal department honoured Gaekwad by releasing a special postal cover for him. This cover, named “Dedicated to Shri DK Gaekwad,” had his picture in the middle and included photos of other famous Baroda cricketers around it. It also showed Fatehsingrao Gaekwad, Chirayu Amin, and Jaywant Lele, who all worked with the BCCI for over five years.

    The Postal cover released by the postal department in 2020 in honour of Dattajirao Gaekwad on the occasion of his 92nd birthday

    The Postal cover released by the postal department in 2020 in honour of Dattajirao Gaekwad on the occasion of his 92nd birthday

  • He spent his last days tirelessly scouting young talent for Baroda cricket sitting in his blue Maruti car at the Motibag cricket ground.
  • His last rites were held at the Kirti Mandir, Vadodara.