Yajurvindra Singh: 9 facts about the man who pouched world record 7 catches on Test debut

Yajurvindra Singh, born August 1, 1952, is a former Indian cricketer who is renowned for his brilliant close-in fielding. On his 63rd birthday, Suvajit Mustafi points out nine interesting facts about the cricketer who had princely roots.

1.  Royal family: Yajurvindra has royal roots and hails from the princely family of Bilkha in the Junagadh district of Saurashtra. He studied in the elite Rajkumar College in Rajkot. Prior to that he had attended the prestigious Welham School in Dehradun.

2.  Played for two Ranji sides: Yajurvindra represented both Saurashtra and Maharashtra in Ranji Trophy.

3.  World record catches, that too on debut: He went on to be the joint holder of two world records on Test debut against England in Bangalore in 1977. In the first innings, he took five catches to equal the record held by Australia’s Vic Richardson against South Africa in 1935-36. In the second, he held two more catches to equal the record of seven catches in a match held by Richardson’s grandson Greg Chappell. Chappell took seven catches against England in 1974-75.

4.  Astrologer’s prophecy comes true: Before his debut in 1977, an astrologer had said him that when he gets selected for the national side he will get “world fame”. Yajurvindra thought like the others from the Royal family, he too would get a hundred on debut. But it was the world record catches got him global headlines. In an interview with Nishad Pai Vaidya, Yajurvindra said, “[When the astrologer said that] My whole thought was that “world fame” meant a hundred on debut. After all Ranjitsinhji, Duleepsinhji, Tiger Pataudi’s father, Hanumant Singh — all Royals — got a hundred on Test debut, so I thought that is something in life you have to do. I didn’t do well in my first innings and was disappointed. But then came the world record in catches. So the jyotish was right!”

5.  A consultant with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS): Yajurvindra is currently working as a consultant with TCS.

6.  Association with Mahindra and Mahindra: Yajurvindra has earlier worked with Mahindra and Mahindra for more than 27 years. He also played corporate cricket for them.

7.  Association with Wisden India: Yajurvindra is one of the rare cricketers who have excelled in the corporate world. It’s an honour for any cricketer to work for Wisden, where he was the Managing Director for three years.

8.  Resides in Sportsfield Building in Worli: Yajurvindra resides in the Sportsfield Building in Worli, Mumbai, building that houses several sports luminaries like Sunil Gavaskar, Ajit Wadekar, Dilip Vengsarakar, Bapu Nadkarni, M Somaya and Pradeep Gandhe

9.  Greg Chappell’s invite: In 2006, during England’s tour to India, Greg Chappell invited Yajurvindra to give the Indian side a quick lesson in close-in catching. Yajurvindra spent almost an hour with players like Wasim Jaffer, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and Mohammad Kaif.

With inputs from Nishad Pai Vaidya

(Suvajit Mustafi consumes cricket for lunch, fiction for dinner and munches numerous other snacks throughout the day. Yes, a jack of several trades, all Suvajit dreamt of was being India’s World Cup winning skipper but ended up being a sports writer, author, screenwriter, director, copywriter, graphic designer, sportsmarketer , strategist, entrepreneur,  philosopher and traveller. Donning so many hats, it’s cricket which gives him the ultimate high and where he finds solace. He can be followed at @RibsGully and rivu7)