Chetan Chauhan

Former India opener Chetan Chauhan passes away at 73


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Chetan Chauhan, former India batsman, has died at the age of 73.

According to news reports, Chauhan, who had tested positive for COVID-19 in early July, was put on ventilator support on Friday, 14 August.

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly remembered Chauhan fondly, having played for India while Chauhan was team manager.

"I am deeply anguished to learn of the passing away of Shri Chetan Chauhan," Ganguly said in a statement. "I have spent so much time with him when he was the Indian Cricket Team’s manager. Not only was he a tough opening batsman but was a person with a tremendous sense of humour and had a tremendous attachment to Indian cricket. This year needs to be forgotten as it has taken a lot of dear people away. He will always remain with us. May God give strength to his family to overcome this loss."

Chauhan played for India in 40 Tests and seven ODIs between 1969 and 1981, scoring 2,237 runs. He formed a formidable top-order partnership with Sunil Gavaskar, with the duo combining for 3,127 runs at an average of 54.85 in Tests, including 11 century stands. The highlight was their opening stand of 213 at The Oval in 1979, when Gavaskar's double century set up a famous win for India. 

Chauhan, who made his Test debut against New Zealand in 1969 as a 22-year-old, got his first runs off a couple of boundaries. He grew to have a reputation as a doughty batsman. However, he never went on to make a hundred; in fact, only Shane Warne (3,154) has more Test runs than him without a century. 

He made at least 50 on 16 occasions, though, with a high score of 97 against Australia in Adelaide in 1981. He was prolific in first-class cricket, reaching 11,143 in 179 matches at an average of 40.22, with 21 centuries.

After his playing career, Chauhan turned to coaching, and was manager when India won a famous Test victory against Australia in Kolkata in 2001.

He was active in politics and was serving as a minister in the state government in Uttar Pradesh when he contracted the virus.

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