Shute Banerjee Biography
It is somewhat unfair that Sarodindu (erroneously referred to as Sarobindu) ‘Shute’ Banerjee is remembered for his last-wicket stand of 249 with Chandu Sarwate against Surrey in 1946. Their partnership (Sarwate 124* and Banerjee 121) remains the only instance when Nos 10 and 11 registered hundreds in the same First-Class innings.
Banerjee toiled hard over a career spanning three decades. He was not express, but he was accurate, and had a vicious bouncer; he could also bowl for hours, which made him an excellent stock bowler. His 385 wickets came at 26.68, while his 3,715 runs came at 20.63 with 5 hundreds. He first rose into prominence with 6 for 59 against Jack Ryder’s Australians of 1935-36.
A surprise pick for the 1936 tour of England, Banerjee picked up 40 wickets at 29.42. India had a dismal tour on and off the field (the most controversial being the send-off of Lala Amarnath). Following his 4 for 51 at Derbyshire, Banerjee was a certainty for The Oval Test, when Baqa Jilani intervened, insulting CK Nayudu at the breakfast table. True to his promise, Vizzy awarded Baqa Jilani a Test cap, relegating Banerjee to 12th man.
Banerjee visited England again in 1946, and once again he went without a Test. By this time he had shifted from Bengal to Bihar via Nawanagar. His chance finally came when the West Indians faced their only defeat on their 1948-49 tour of Pakistan, India, and Ceylon: opening bowling for East Zone he scythed through a star-studded side with 7 for 67.
He finally made his debut at 37, where he claimed 1 for 73 and 4 for 54 in a humdinger at Bombay. Surprisingly, he was never considered again. He had one last shot, turning up for Madhya Pradesh at an age of 48.
Shute Banerjee passed away at 69.