Cricket

Veteran cricketer Manohar Sharma passes away

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He represented Madhya Pradesh and Services in Ranji Trophy and played in 66 first class matches, including North Zone in Duleep Trophy. “He was a solid and steady opener. He got a lot of runs locally and in Ranji Trophy,’’

Hyderabad: Veteran cricketer Manohar Sharma passed away in Indore on Tuesday morning. He was 80. He is survived by his wife, son and daughter. His son Pankaj Sharma is a Colonel in the army.

He represented Madhya Pradesh and Services in Ranji Trophy and played in 66 first class matches, including North Zone in Duleep Trophy. “He was a solid and steady opener. He got a lot of runs locally and in Ranji Trophy,’’ said PR Man Singh, former secretary of Hyderabad Cricket Association.

Although he could never play for Hyderabad in Ranji Trophy, he played for the city team in Moin-ud-Dowla tournament and was in fact the treasurer of the HCA in the late 70s. He toured with Hyderabad Blues in the 70s.

Hailing from Indore, he made his Ranji debut for MP in 1959/60 before he volunteered to join the Army during the 1962 Indo-China war. He was posted in Secunderabad in the then Stationed Service, which later became AOC. He got a lot of runs, was selected for the Services team and even represented the North Zone. “Sharmajee was an intelligent and smart cricketer,’’ V Ramnarayan, the former Hyderabad off spinner.

Sharma twice played for Combined President’s XI against the visiting England team in 1961 and 1963. Later on when the Army relieved him, he represented Madhya Pradesh for the second time before retiring in 1975-76. He joined State Bank of India (SBI) and subsequently retired as Chief General Manager.

Vijay Mohan Raj, former Hyderabad opener, said Sharma played cricket with a lot of distinction. “He was cool, calm and friendly cricketer.’’

After retiring he was made the vice president of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association and chairman of its cricket development committee.

Mohan Raj  said Manohar was one of pioneers of the Hyderabad State Veterans Cricket Association. “He maintained good relations with all cricketers and was active till the other day with his numerous social media friends,’’ he said.

Former Hyderabad off-spinner Kanwaljit Singh said Sharma was always dedicated to the game. “He read the game well, and off the field, he was a good human being. Being an Army man, he always believed in discipline and commitment towards the game.’’

He also authored a book called Humour in Cricket in 2010.

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