Sad demise of former Mumbai women’s team pacer, Surekha Bhandare, leaves cricket fraternity in grief

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Mumbai Women’s Team Pacer Surekha Bhandare Passes Away

Mumbai Women’s Team Pacer Surekha Bhandare Passes Away

Former Mumbai women’s team pacer Surekha Bhandare passed away at her Dadar residence on Wednesday morning, at the age of 72.

A disciple of famous cricket coaches Ramakant Achrekar and Hemant Hadkar, Bhandare played 127 First-Class matches, in which she took close to 100 wickets, in the 70s. Post her retirement, Bhandare would coach budding cricketers at her club Navyug Krida Mandal, which was located in the Purandare Stadium in Parel, and would also coach boys of Salaam Bombay, an NGO trust. She was also a Mumbai women’s team selector for some time.

Her Contribution to Mumbai’s Triumph

“She had a modest upbringing. Achrekar sir never charged a penny from her for coaching her. As age caught on, her health had deteriorated. She had recently been admitted to the Hinduja Hospital with a heart ailment,” an old-timer said.

“She was one of the most outstanding pace bowlers I’ve ever seen. Considering that she had a short run-up, the pace that she generated was really surprising. She was a hard-hitting No 11 batter, and a safe fielder. She was an all-rounder good cricketer and always gave her 100% on the field. She was a nice human being, and a humble person. I pray to God that her soul rests in peace,” former India women’s team captain and ex-BCCI Committee of Administrators (CoA) member Diana Edulji told TOI.

Memorable Innings and Wickets

Recalling Bhandare’s vital contribution in Mumbai’s triumph over Mumbai in the 1979 National Women’s Cricket Championship, Edulji said, “We won the Nationals by beating Bengal, after losing to them for the last five years. In spite of seven out of the 11 getting out for a zero, we had a last wicket partnership of over 50 runs between her and Arundhati Ghosh, which pushed us to a good total. It was one of her most memorable innings. She was then instrumental in picking up wickets too.”

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