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Bhairab Ganguli, the Test umpire from Bengal, passed away on July 30, 2014. Abhishek Mukherjee remembers the man in white coats who officiated some of the greatest names in the sport.
Bhairab Ganguli, who had stood in five Tests and two One-Day Internationals (ODI), has passed away due to multiple organ failure. His death in Kolkata on July 30, 2014 — two days before his 83rd birthday — fell into relative obscurity.
Born in Dacca [present-day Dhaka], Ganguli first stood in the Ranji Trophy match between Bihar and Assam at Patna in 1971-72. He officiated in the Duleep Trophy final of 1978-79 [North Zone versus West Zone at Kotla] and the Ranji Trophy final of 1979-80 [Delhi versus Bombay at Kotla]. Earlier, in 1977-78, he had officiated in the World Cup match between India Women and England Women at Eden Gardens.
Ganguli made his Test “debut” in the Test between India and England at Chepauk in 1981-82. He went on to officiate in five Tests and two ODIs, his last international appearance being the Test against England in 1984-85 (where Mohammad Azharuddin made his Test debut and Sunil Gavaskar made his last international appearance at Eden Gardens). He umpired in the Ranji Trophy final that season as well, but retired after the next season. He was 54.
Following his retirement Ganguli went on to became a member of the Board of Trustees at Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).
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