Gopal Bose
Gopal Bose

Gopal Bose, a former India batsman and Bengal stalwart, has died aged 71 in a Birmingham hospital on Sunday. He was in London and fell ill following which he was being kept in the ICU for three days.

Bose played 78 first-class matches and scored 3757 runs at an average of 30.79. He hit eight centuries and 17 half-centuries during his decade long career in the format. He also played eight List A matches but found limited success, scoring 115 runs with a highest score of 52.

An opening batsman, he was known for his long innings and after a bountiful domestic season (1973-74) during which he scored a century (170) for Rest of India in Irani Cup, he was picked for India’s unofficial tour of Sri Lanka. He made a mark, hitting a century in a 194-run opening stand with batting legend Sunil Gavaskar.

A tour of England in 1974 followed but failure in the practice matches meant he failed to break into India’s Test XI. However, an injury to Gavaskar meant he was recalled for the Chennai Test against West Indies in 1975 but again did not play the game.

He though played an ODI, against England, scoring 13 runs and picked up a wicket as well.

He later took to coaching and administration. He was a Bengal selector and was the manager of the Indian team that won the ICC U-19 World Cup in 2008 under Virat Kohli in Kuala Lumpur.

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly offered his condolences, calling him a ‘very dear person. “Lost a very dear person today ..luckily he was with his entire family in Birmingham ..will miss him ..may his soul rest in peace,” former India captain Sourav Ganguly posted on his Twitter handle.

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “Saddened at the passing away of Gopal Bose, former India cricketer, shining star of Bengal cricket for many years and captain. My condolences to his family, admirers and friends in the sports fraternity.”