Dattaram Hindlekar

1 Jan 1909
30 Mar 1949
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Dattaram Dharmaji Hindlekar (1 January 1909, Bombay – 30 March 1949, Bombay) was a cricketer who kept wicket for India in Test cricket.

Hindlekar toured England in 1936 and 1946 as India’s first choice wicket keeper. He opened in the first Test at Lord’s in 1936, but chipped a bone in his finger and suffered from blurred vision.This injury and his subsequent exclusion from the next Test led to the famous opening partnership between Vijay Merchant and Mushtaq Ali.

Injuries limited his appearances in 1946 as well. In the Old Trafford Test, he went in last and batted out 13 minutes with the Ranga Sohoni to save the match.

A right-handed batsman, he wore his cap at a ‘bewildered angle’ and ‘stood with his toes pointing up at an angle of 45 degrees’.

Hindlekar was the son of a farmer from Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. He worked in the Bombay Port Trust for a salary of Rs.80 a month. His means were so limited that he could not afford to buy a pair of gloves, and used to visit Khershed Meherhomji and borrow his. He died at the age of 40 for want of proper treatment. It was only at a very late stage of his illness that he was moved to the Arthur Road Hospital in Bombay.

Hindlekar died leaving behind his wife and seven children. After his death BCCI and Bombay Cricket Association issued appeals for contributions to help his family. These had little success. His employer Bombay Port Trust then organised a cabaret dance on 6 August 1949 which raised a little over Rs. 7,000. Almost every major Indian cricketer of the time attended the dance.

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