Mumbai: Former India Test cricketer Hemant Kanitkar, who was suffering from prolonged illness, has passed away at his residence in Pune, the BCCI announced on Wednesday.

Kanitkar, 72, who represented Maharashtra with distinction from 1963-64 to 1977-78, died on Tuesday night. 

He played two Tests in the 1974-75 series against the West Indies, scoring an impressive 65 in his first Test innings at Bengaluru.

Kanitkar was a member of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) All-India Junior Selection Committee in 1992-93 and 1993-94, and chaired the panel from 1996-97 to 1998-99.

“On behalf of the BCCI, I would like to extend my condolences to his family, and pray that his soul rests in peace,” BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya said in a statement.

“Kanitkar was a versatile cricketer. He was an outstanding batsman for Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy, for a decade-and-a-half. He was also an excellent wicket-keeper,” BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said.

“His second innings, as selector and guide to youngsters, was equally noteworthy,” he added.

Kanitkar remained a tower of strength for Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy in which he scored 3,632 runs at an average of 43.75, with a highest score of 250 against Rajasthan in 1970-71.

In a first-class career that lasted from 1963 to 1978, Kanitkar scored 5,007 runs at an average of 42.79 with 13 centuries and 87 dismissals, 68 of them caught.

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