Rajinder Goel, who holds the record for most wickets in Ranji trophy passed away due to age-related illness on Sunday. Despite enjoying rich success in domestic cricket, the left-arm spinner never made it to the Indian team due to the presence of Bishan Singh Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna and Venkataraghavan.
Goel, who played for Haryana, Delhi and Punjab in the Ranji trophy was a soaring figure with over 750 wickets in his 24-year old career for Haryana. He was the recipient of CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 for his contribution towards Indian cricket.
Rajinder Goel passes away
“It is a huge loss for the game of cricket and a personal loss for me which has left a huge void. He was one of the best, if not the best left-arm spinner that this country has seen and his record of 750 first-class wickets speaks for his tremendous ability,” former BCCI President Ranbir Singh Mahendra said.
Born in United Punjab’s Narwana town in 1942, Goel made his Ranji Trophy debut for South Punjab in 1958, he bowled alongside Bishan Singh Bedi when the stalwart played for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy.
“Hard work, practice, and some intellect on how to play the batsman these are mandatory. Without practice you will not be able to master line and length, which are key to defeat the batsman,” he was quoted while talking to ESPNcricinfo when asked about what constitutes a good spinner.
In the 157 matches Goel played, he picked up 750 wickets at a bowling average of 18.58. He never played for India officially but appeared in an unofficial test against Ceylon at Ahmedabad in 1964 where he took four wickets in the second innings.
During his playing days, Goel worked for State bank of India and later served as the chief selector for Haryana. Rajinder’s son Nitin Goel also represented Haryana.