RIP Chetan Chauhan: Teammates remember fighter who never lost his cool

Syed Kirmani and Madan Lal pay tributes to former India opener Chetan Chauhan, who succumbed to COVID-19 on August 16.

Published: 16th August 2020 11:02 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th August 2020 11:02 PM   |  A+A-

(From left) Chetan Chauhan, Roger Binny and Krishnamachari Srikkanth after attending BCCI technical committee meeting in Mumbai

(From left) Chetan Chauhan, Roger Binny and Krishnamachari Srikkanth after attending BCCI technical committee meeting in Mumbai. (File photo| PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  A couple of days ago, a message popped up on a WhatsApp group of the 1983 World Cup-winning team members. The sender requested them to pray for the recovery of Chetan Chauhan, who was admitted to hospital after testing COVID-19 positive and suffering multi-organ failure.

Like others, former wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani extended his wishes and hopes for the best. Little did he know that his former teammate, who had played several gritty innings for India, would lose this battle. "It's tragic. It's a big loss for us and Indian cricket," Kirmani told this daily.

ALSO READ| 'Wonderful cricketer, diligent political leader': PM Modi condoles UP Minister Chetan Chauhan's death

Speaking on his memories of Chauhan, the 70-year-old recalled the famous incident during third Test in Melbourne involving Sunil Gavaskar and Chauhan in 1981. "From what we could see from the dressing room, Gavaskar was looking to walk off the ground for being given out wrongly. Chauhan's body language suggested otherwise and I pushed our team manager Shahid Durrani to go in and sort out the issue," recalled Kirmani.

Chauhan made 85 and shared an opening stand of 165 with Gavaskar as India registered a remarkable win to level the three-match series. Madan Lal was at a loss of words after learning about the demise of his former Delhi and India teammate. "It's very sad. I cannot imagine he is no more," the former all-rounder said.

He was in regular touch with Chauhan and had spoken to him about a month ago. "We kept talking to each other on how to help Delhi cricket One thing I specifically remember is his cool demeanour. He never lost his cool no matter what the situation was. There were times when I used to get angry but he never lost composure," he added.

ALSO READ| UP Minister and former India cricketer Chetan Chauhan succumbs to COVID-19

Chauhan will always be remembered as the best opening partner Gavaskar ever had. Despite playing 40 Tests, he never scored a century. Kirmani and Lal felt he was unfortunate in this regard. "He played some good innings against quality pace attacks in overseas Tests but could not reach that three-figure mark. But it doesn't matter, as we know he was the perfect foil for Gavaskar and helped the team win matches," said Lal, who also heads BCCI's Cricket Advisory Committee.

Even after retirement, Chauhan remained associated with the game. He served as the manager of the Indian team on a few occasions. He also served as president, vice-president, secretary and selection committee chief of the Delhi and District Cricket Association.

"He never went into retirement mode. He kept himself engaged in something or the other. After he forayed into politics, our frequency of meetings decreased considerably, but we stayed in touch. He was a very good human being and always ready to help," signed off Lal.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp