BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has expressed grief on the passing away of Chetan Chauhan, saying the former player was not only a tough opening batsman but was a person with a tremendous sense of humour and had a tremendous attachment to Indian cricket.
Chauhan was admitted to a hospital after being tested positive for COVID-19 and breathed his last on Sunday.
“I am deeply anguished to learn of the passing away of Chetan Chauhan. I have spent so much time with him when he was the Indian cricket team’s manager. Not only was he a tough opening batsman but was a person with a tremendous sense of humour and had a tremendous attachment to Indian cricket,” said Ganguly in a BCCI statement.
“This year needs to be forgotten as it has taken a lot of dear people away. He will always remain with us. May God give strength to his family to overcome this loss.”
A gritty opener, Chauhan played 40 Test matches and seven ODIs for India from 1969 to 1981. He was Sunil Gavaskar’s opening partner and the two shared many vital stands, including 10-century partnerships.
It was at The Oval in 1979 that the two put on a courageous display, stitching together an opening partnership of 213 runs, which came in the second innings. Together they put 3,010 runs in 59 innings, an Indian record then before Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir went past the mark.
BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said: “The news of Chetan Chauhan ji’s untimely death has deeply pained me. In him, the nation has not only lost a fine cricketer today but also a great human being. His contribution to Indian cricket will always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”
Chauhan continued his domination in first-class cricket and amassed over 11,000 runs from 179 games, representing Maharashtra and Delhi.
Arun Singh Dhumal, BCCI Treasurer, said: “We have lost a senior member of our fraternity today. He had been working hard to encourage not just cricket but other sports disciplines in his capacity first as a Member of Parliament and later as a cabinet minister in the Uttar Pradesh government. I extend my condolences to his family and fans in this hour of grief.”
After his retirement, Chauhan served as President of the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) and was also its vice-president, secretary and chief selector. He was appointed as manager of the Indian cricket team that toured Australia in 2007-08.
In 1980-81, he was bestowed with the prestigious Arjuna Award.