Full Name: Dilip Balwant Vengsarkar
Born: April 6, 1956, Rajapur, Maharashtra
Major teams: India, Mumbai, Staffordshire
Batting style: Right-hand bat
Bowling style: Right-arm medium
First player to score three consecutive Test centuries at Lord's; Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1987; more than 6,000 Test runs; former India captain
Dilip Balwant Vengsarkar, usually known as just Dilip Vengsarkar is a former Indian Cricket player and currently a Cricket Administrator. Fondly known as Colonel, Vengsarkar is known to be one of the best batsmen of his times.
Vengsarkar was born on 6th of April 1956 at Rajapur, Maharashtra. He began playing the game of Cricket at an early age and created stirs as a teenage Cricketer when playing for Bombay (Now Mumbai) he scored 110 runs in an Irani Trophy match at Nagpur in the year 1975. Although soon after he was taken into the Indian Cricket team, it took him some time before he came into his full swing and gave India some solid performances.
Test and ODI Debut
Dilip Vengsarkar made his Test Cricket debut in a Test match against New Zealand played on 24th of January 1976 at Auckland, and scored 13 runs in the match. He also grabbed two catches in the match. Dilip began his One Day International (ODI) career with an ODI match against New Zealand played on 21st of February 1976 at Christchurch. He scored 16 runs off 27 balls in this match.
Vengsarkar was one of the proud members of the Indian squad that represented the nation in the 1983 World Cup Cricket and became victorious in the tournament. He gave his best performance between the years 1985 and 1987 and scored a number of centuries against the strong teams like Sri Lanka, West Indies, Australia and Pakistan. As a matter of fact, the ratings by Coopers and Lybrand (now merged into PricewaterhouseCoopers) declared him as the Best Batsman in the World during that period.
Interestingly, while the pace bowlers from West Indies used to dread the batsmen around the world, Vengsarkar was very successful against them and scored 6 centuries against them. He is also known for having scored 3 Test centuries in a row at the Lord’s ground, and after India won a Test Series in England, he was bestowed with the Man of the Series award for his contribution in the victory.
Vengsarkar also served as the Captain of the Indian Cricket team for some time after the 1987 World Cup Cricket tournament and led the team in 10 Test matches, but he had to leave the position in the year 1989 after some controversy erupted upon his tour to USA.
In his overall Test Cricket career, Dilip Vengsarkar played in 116 Test matches and scored 6868 runs in them including 17 centuries and 35 half-centuries with an average of 42.13 runs and a highest score of 166 runs. As far as his overall One Day International (ODI) Cricket career is concerned, he played in 129 matches and scored 3508 runs including 1 century and 23 half-centuries with an average of 34.73 runs and a highest score of 105 runs.
Vengsarkar played his last ODI match against South Africa at New Delhi on 14th of November 1991, and didn’t get a chance to bat in the match, which was eventually won by South Africa by 8 wickets. His last Test match was against Australia played on 1st of February 1992 at Perth, and he scored 5 runs in the match.
After retiring from active Cricket, Dilip Vengsarkar launched the Elf-Vengsarkar Academy at Mumbai in the year 1995, and was made the Vice President of the Mumbai Cricket Association in the year 2003. Further, he became the Chairman of the Selection Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in the year 2006.
He has been bestowed with the Arjuna Award in the year 1981 and Padma Shri in the year 1987. Wisden, the well known Cricket magazine named him Wisden Cricketer of the Year in the year 1987.