Google paid tribute to Indian cricket’s ‘renaissance man’ Dilip Sardesai with a doodle on his 78th birthday.
Sardesai made his first mark in cricket in the inter-university Rohinton Baria Trophy in 1959–60 where he made 435 runs at an average of 87. He made his first-class cricket debut for Indian Universities against the touring Pakistan team at Pune.
He made his debut for India against England in 1961 in Kanpur and played 30 Test matches for the country before hanging up his boots in 1972, playing his last game in Delhi. He scored 2001 runs at an average of 38.48, with five centuries nine half-centuries.
Sardesai was popularly known as ‘Sardee-Singh’. During his successful 1970–71 tour in England, Sardesai was asked at the airport whether he had anything to declare. ‘I have come here with runs’, he replied, ‘and I’ll go back with more’.
He represented Bombay in the Ranji Trophy in 13 seasons, including 10 finals, and never finished on the losing side. He scored 199 against Rajasthan in the 1967 final.
Sardesai’s final first-class match was the famous Ranji Trophy final against Madras in 1972–73, which ended on the first ball of the third day. He scored over 1,000 first-class runs in three domestic seasons, with a career best of 1,429 runs in 1964–65, which included his highest first-class score, 222, for Associated Cement Company against Indian Starlets in the final of the Moin-ud-Dowlah Gold Cup Tournament.
He passed away in 2007, aged 67, due to a chest infection.