Former cricketer G R Sunderam dead

Former cricketer Gundibail Rama Sunderam, who played two Tests for India against New Zealand in 1955, died on Sunday following a short illness.

Updated: June 20, 2010 18:16 IST
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Mumbai:Former cricketer Gundibail Rama Sunderam, who played two Tests for India against New Zealand in 1955, died here on Sunday following a short illness.

He was 80 years old.

"He was not well in the last few months and was admitted to the hospital. He was discharged 10 days ago and readmitted to the hospital four days ago before breathing his last today morning at 5 am," former Test opener and Mumbai Cricket Association's joint secretary Lalchand Rajput said.

The funeral was held this morning.

Born in Udupi in Karnataka, Sunderam, a right arm medium pacer, played in the third and fourth Tests of the 1955-56 home series against the Kiwis and took three wickets, after opening the bowling, including a personal best of 2-48 in his last appearance.

He rose to prominence by playing for the Combined Universities outfit against the visiting MCC (England in Tests) team in 1951 and the touring Pakistanis the next year before getting a chance to represent the country in the 'unofficial Test' against the Commonwealth XI led by Australia's Benjamin Barnett in 1953 at the Brabourne Stadium here.

The presence of three class all-rounders Dattu Phadkar, Polly Umrigar and Gulabrai Ramchand restricted Sunderam's chances of playing for India after turning out in the country's colours at Delhi's Ferozshah Kotla and Kolkata's Eden Gardens against New Zealand in December 1955.

Though he never played for the country again, Sunderam continued to ply his trade in domestic cricket till the late 1960s.

After shifting from Mumbai to Rajasthan in the early 1960s, he represented his adopted team for eight seasons in Ranji Trophy along with other stalwarts such as Salim Durrani, Hanumant Singh and cricketer-turned-administrator, the late Raj Singh Dungarpur. In 47 first class matches he grabbed 127 wickets and scored 558 runs.

Sunderam's son Pradeep, also a pace bowler who has become a coach, followed in his footsteps and represented Rajasthan in Ranji Trophy and achieved the rare feat of grabbing all ten wickets in an innings in the national championship.

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