Jaipur:Former India Test cricketer Parthasarthi Sharma passed away in Jaipur on Wednesday after fighting a long battle with cancer. He was 62.
A right-hand middle-order batsman, Sharma was suffering from gallbladder cancer for the last few months.
He was in the ICU and breathed his last this morning after his condition deteriorated. He is survived by his wife and a son.
Parthasarthi was the only cricketer from Rajasthan after Hanumanth Singh who played Test cricket for India.
Sharma, who featured in only five Tests, made a promising start to his cricketing career, scoring 54 and 49 runs in his first Test against West Indies at New Delhi in 1974-75.
A less successful outing in the next Test (6 and 9) saw him axed.
As a member of the Indian team to New Zealand and West Indies, he opened with Sunil Gavaskar in the first Test at Bridgetown, but scored only six and one.
At home against England in 1976-77, he had scores of 4, 29, 9 and 20 in two Tests but following India's defeat in both the games, was discarded for good.
He was selected for the Indian team after his fine performances for Rajasthan in the Ranji Trophy and for Central Zone in the Duleep Trophy.
On the domestic circuit, during his two decade long first-class career, Sharma played with much class and determination.
In the Ranji Trophy, he scored 4372 runs (38.69) and in the Duleep Trophy he got 1379 runs (38.31).
He was prolific scorer in the domestic cricket and helped Rajasthan and Central Zone to many memorable victories.
He later became the coach of the Rajasthan Ranji team.
He was a mainstay of the Rajasthan side which repeatedly won the Central Zone championship and finished runners-up several times in the national competition and he was one of the stars of Central Zone's maiden triumph in the Duleep Trophy in 1971-72.
His death was mourned by cricketing fraternity.
The former cricketer and chairman of the senior selection committee Kishan Rungta said that Partha was one of the finest batsmen Rajasthan has ever produced.
Former Test cricketer and Partha's team mate for Rajasthan and also on West Indies tour, Salim Durrani said that Partha had shown talent right from his early days.
"I had seen him grow right from a ten year old boy. He had shown tremendous promise and talent. I feel he should have played a longer period for India," said Durrani.
The president of the Rajasthan Cricket Association C P Joshi and Secretary Sanjay Dixit termed his demise as unfortunate.