BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, India head coach Ravi Shastri and a host of Indian cricketers paid tribute to left-arm spin great Rajinder Goel, who passed away at 77 after battling long-term illness.
Mourning the demise, former India cricketer Ravi Shastri tweeted, Master of his craft. Killer line & length in our terrain. Humility personified.”
Recalling the fact that Rajinder Goel did not play for India despite taking 750 first-class wickets, Virender Sehwag tweeted out the Indian team’s loss to have missed out on his services.
Sourav Ganguly also joined the cricket fans in mourning the death of Rajinder Goel terming him a “giant of domestic cricket”.
“The Indian cricketing community has lost a giant of domestic cricket today. His staggering record tells you about his craft and the control he had over it, Ganguly was quoted as saying by PTI.
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) June 21, 2020
A very simple, humble man. Highest wicket taker in his last first class season. 750 First- class wickets but never played for India. Was India’s loss. Rajinder Goel ji ko vinamra Shraddhanjali. Om Shanti pic.twitter.com/qTYvalr1nU
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) June 21, 2020
Rajinder Goel was easily the most ‘contented’ human being I’ve known…I used to envy his sense of ‘contentment’ in my moments of turmoil..RIP ‘Goely’..You bowled yur heart out to keep Ranji Trophy alive..!! pic.twitter.com/U1ZZCQE7KW
— Bishan Bedi (@BishanBedi) June 21, 2020
Very sad to hear that a giant of Indian cricket, Rajinder Goel, has passed away. Champion bowler.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) June 21, 2020
Rajinder Goel played 157 first-class matches, most of them for Haryana, and finished with 750 wickets. Goel holds the record for most wickets taken in Ranji Trophy as he scalped 637, 107 more than S Venkataraghavan who is second on the list. Goel made his debut in the 1957-58 season and went on to play domestic cricket until the age of 44.
In 2017, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) honoured Rajinder Goel with the CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award.
Goel’s came closest to playing for India came when West Indies, under Clive Lloyd toured India in 1974-75. Bishan Singh Bedi was dropped before the first Test in Bengaluru and Goel was included in the Indian squad.