Sun sets on ‘Cricket Drona’: Noted Mumbai coach Vasu Paranjape passes away

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He
was
82
years
old
and
is
survived
by
his
wife,
retired
professor
Lalita,
two
daughters
and
former
India
cricketer
and
national
selector
son
Jatin.

“The
Mumbai
Cricket
Association
expresses
profound
grief
on
hearing
about
the
sad
demise
of
Shri
Vasudeo
Paranjape
who
passed
away
on
30th
August
2021.
On
behalf
of
the
Apex
Council
members
of
MCA,
all
the
member
clubs
as
also
the
cricketing
fraternity
we
condole
his
demise,”
secretary
Sanjay
Naik
and
joint
secretary
Shahalam
Shaikh
stated
in
the
note.

Former
India
captain
Sunil
Gavaskar
and
MNS
leader
Raj
Thackeray
paid
homage
to
the
departed
soul.
In
his
six
decade
association
with
Indian
cricket
and
especially
Mumbai
cricket,
Paranjape
has
donned
many
roles

that
of
a
coach,
selector,
mentor
and
a
sounding
board
for
anyone
who
needed
advice
on
cricket
and
beyond.

No
one
knew
Mumbai
cricket’s
pulse
like
‘Vasu
sir’,
who
perhaps
would
always
be
remembered
for
Gavaskar’s
global
nickname
“Sunny”.
785
runs
in
29
first-class
games
with
two
hundreds
isn’t
the
greatest
piece
of
cricketing
statistics
but
what
made
Paranjape
stand
apart
was
his
astute
knowledge
of
the
game
and
being
able
to
work
on
the
mindset
of
players

especially
in
their
formative
years.

He
could
speak
four
languages
fluently–
Hindi,
English,
Marathi
and
Gujarati.
He
was
the
captain
of
a
very
strong
Dadar
Union
side
that
boasted
of
names
like
Sunil
Gavaskar,
Dilip
Vengsarkar
along
with
club
legends
like
Vithal
‘Marshal’ Patil.

Paranjape
was
entrusted
by
late
Raj
Singh
Dungarpur
to
oversee
the
Indian
team’s
preparatory
camp
in
Mumbai
(Bombay
back
then)
before
the
1987
World
Cup
and
had
also
assisted
legendary
Dennis
Lillee
during
formative
years
of
MRF
Pace
Foundation.

The
cricket
aficionados
of
60’s
and
70’s
swear
by
his
attacking
captaincy.
Sunil
Gavaskar
had
written
in
his
autobiography
‘Sunny
Days’
about
how
Paranjape
loved
Australian
cricketing
philosophy
and
once
when
the
Dadar
Union
side
had
gone
to
Australia
in
early
70’s
to
play
a
few
friendly
games,
he
would
always
wear
a
wide
grin.

“He
was
once
thrown
into
a
pool
and
had
to
be
fished
out.
Vasu
didn’t
know
how
to
swim
but
even
then
he
was
sporting
a
big
smile,” Gavaskar
had
recollected
in
his
book.
His
son
Jatin
recently
co-authored
with
journalist
Anand
Vasu
to
bring
out
a
book
‘Cricket
Drona’
where
a
lot
of
distinguished
India
internationals
spoke
about
Vasu
sir’s
contribution
in
their
careers.

In
fact
a
sweet
little
incident
mentioned
in
the
book
from
the
early
80’s
proved
how
he
was
also
a
life
coach
to
many
cricketers.
Former
India
player
and
Sandeep
Patil’s
in-laws
didn’t
give
consent
to
the
marriage
of
their
daughter
Deepa
with
the
cricketer.
It
was
Vasu
sir,
who
approached
the
bride’s
father
and
convinced
him.

“If
it
was
my
daughter,
I
would
marry
her
with
Sandeep.” Vasu
and
his
wife
Lalita,
a
former
Head
of
English
Literature
Department
at
the
Ruia
College
were
like
a
“team”.
In
fact
Sanjay
Manjrekar
in
that
book
of
memoirs
had
recollected
how
he
once
dropped
in
at
the
Paranjape
household
to
speak
to
his
Dadar
Union
mentor
and
it
was
Lalita
who
told
him
to
attend
the
tuition
classes
that
she
had
arranged
for
the
cricketer
since
he
missed
out
on
regular
classes
due
to
cricketing
commitments.

In
fact,
as
recently
as
the
third
Test
between
India
and
England,
Manjrekar,
who
is
a
respected
analyst,
during
a
TV
show
spoke
about
how
Vasu
sir
believed
that
late
Vinoo
Mankad
was
the
greatest
left-arm
spinner
to
have
played
for
India.
In
1987,
the
BCCI
for
the
first
time
had
arranged
an
U-15
National
camp
at
Indore
and
it
had
some
of
the
best
youngsters
of
that
time
who
received
coaching
from
Vasu
sir.
Names?
Sachin
Tendulkar,
Sourav
Ganguly,
Vinod
Kambli,
late
Dhruv
Pandove
to
name
a
few.

“Sachin
would
bat
and
bat
and
would
never
come
out
of
the
nets.
It
was
Vasu
sir,
who
had
to
literally
chase
him
and
remind
him
that
others
also
needed
to
be
given
a
chance
to
bat,” Ganguly,
now
BCCI
president
had
fondly
recollected
this
anecdote
during
a
YouTube
show
“Breakfast
with
Champions”.

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