Chetan Chauhan, a fighter who thrived in stress

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When he marked his guard to face fiery quick bowling, the phrase used to sum up Chetan Chauhan on the crease was “gritty”. Though the highlight was at all times on man on the different finish, the sturdiness and stodginess of the legendary Sunil Gavaskar’s longest-serving opening companion may by no means be undermined. Chauhan, who went on to turn into a cricket administrator and later entered the rugged and tumble of Uttar Pradesh politics, would go on to make use of these aspects of his character properly even in his “second innings”.

On August 16, Chauhan (73), a minister within the Bharatiya Janata Party govt in Uttar Pradesh, died in hospital as a consequence of a number of organ failure after having battled Covid-19 for a month.

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Madan Lal, 1983 World Cup winner and Chauhan’s long-time Delhi and India staff mate, rues {that a} assembly deliberate whereas Chauhan was hospitalised in Lucknow didn’t occur. “I spoke to him 15 days before [his death]. He said ‘I am coming to Delhi, we’ve to discuss things’. Sadly, it did not come to pass.”

Born in Bareilly a month earlier than India gained freedom, Chauhan grew up in Pune, where his father, Colonel Navratan Singh Chauhan, was posted. He began taking part in Ranji Trophy cricket for Maharashtra – he moved to Delhi later – and made his India debut in 1969. Though he was dropped after his first three Tests, that stodginess kicked in, and he made a comeback in 1973 to kind a partnership with Gavaskar for 40 Tests in opposition to among the most scary quick bowlers from cricket’s swinging ’70s.

The pair raised 11 century stands, 10 of them as openers. And although Chauhan received the tag of being the primary Test player to attain 2,000 runs with no century, his value in these partnerships was invaluable. He arrive closest to the magic mark on the Adelaide Oval in January 1981. And it took two of the best exponents of the sport on the time to disclaim him – the scoreboard study, Chauhan caught (Rodney) Marsh bowled (Dennis) Lillee 97.

In a observe for ESPNCricinfo after Chauhan’s dying, Gavaskar, whereas speaking about their partnerships, recalled that second in Adelaide. “He was on 97 when my team mates pulled me out of my chair in front of the TV and dragged me to the players balcony, saying I must get there to cheer my partner. I was a bit superstitious about watching from the players’ enclosure as then the batsman would get out, and so I would always watch on the dressing-room TV. Once the landmark was reached, then I would rush to the players balcony and join in the cheers. However, here I was in the Adelaide balcony when Lillee came in to bowl, and would you believe it – Chetan was caught behind first ball,” he wrote.

“He was a wonderful person. A gentleman cricketer, a team man; a good soul,” Madan Lal stated. Chauhan was the Delhi cricket affiliation (DDCA) vice-president for nearly 15 years, and Lal was a fierce critic of the administration.

Chauhan was elected to Lok Sabha from Amroha (1991 and 1998). His meeting seat, Naugawan Sadat, is a part of the similar constituency. He misplaced the Lok Sabha polls 3 times (1996, 1999, 2004), however didn’t stroll away.

“He got stuck in,” stated Lal, “just like he always did.”

[Attribution HT]

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