Duleep

Country: England
Born: June 13, 1905, Sarodar, Kathiawar, India
Batting Style: Right hand Bat
Bowling Style: Legbreak
Died: December 05, 1959, Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra, India, (aged 54y 175d)

Duleep Bio

Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji, also known as Mr. Smith, was a highly celebrated cricket player from England. Born on June 13, 1905, in India, he was destined for greatness on the cricket field as the nephew of the renowned Ranjitsinhji. Regrettably, ill-health plagued his career, limiting his first-class innings to just eight seasons. Yet, in that time, Duleepsinhji established himself as one of the finest batsmen to represent England.

Despite his brief career, Duleepsinhji scored an impressive 15,485 runs, including 50 centuries, at an exceptional average of 49.95. His talent extended beyond batting, as he showcased remarkable skills as a slip fieldsman, taking 256 catches. Affectionately known as “Duleep” or “Mr. Smith” in the cricketing world, he left an indelible mark on the sport.

Duleepsinhji’s cricketing journey began as a schoolboy at Cheltenham College, where he excelled as a batsman. In his final season as captain in 1923, he led the Cheltenham XI with an average of 52.36 and a highest score of 162. He also demonstrated his prowess as a leg-break bowler, topping the averages in 1922 with 50 wickets at an average of 13.66. However, he seldom bowled after leaving school. HS Altham, the current President of MCC, described Duleepsinhji as a player gifted with extraordinary eye, wrist, and footwork. Altham acknowledged his judgment and certainty in punishing straight balls and admired his elegant late cutting technique. Duleepsinhji’s batting methods exuded ease and maturity that set him apart from other school batsmen.

In 1925, Duleepsinhji joined Cambridge, where his skills further blossomed. He earned his Blue as a Freshman and continued to impress in matches against Oxford in 1926 and 1928. Unfortunately, illness interrupted his cricketing pursuits in 1927 and forced him to miss most of the season. Nonetheless, he returned in fine form, with an extraordinary unbeaten innings of 254 against Middlesex. His excellent performances led to a resurgence, and he became an even more formidable batsman.

Duleepsinhji’s career with Sussex, a county cricket club, commenced in 1926, and he dominated the county averages until 1932 when doctors advised him against further participation in the sport. Notably, in 1930, he achieved a remarkable feat by scoring 333 runs in just five and a half hours against Northamptonshire at Hove, which remains the highest individual innings for Sussex. Moreover, this score surpassed the record of his famous uncle, KS Ranjitsinhji, who had scored 285 runs against Somerset in 1901. Duleepsinhji also registered four consecutive centuries in 1931 and accumulated a total of 12 centuries that year.

Throughout his career, Duleepsinhji made 12 appearances for the England national team. In his debut Test match against Australia in 1930, he demonstrated his talent by scoring an impressive 173. His performance caught the attention of selectors, and he was subsequently included in the MCC tour of New Zealand and Australia in 1929-30. The team captain, A. H. H. Gilligan, hailed Duleepsinhji as the best player of slow bowling on a wet pitch he had ever witnessed. Unfortunately, Duleepsinhji had to withdraw from the team for DR Jardine’s controversial “bodyline” tour in 1932-33.

After retiring from cricket due to recurring health issues, Duleepsinhji joined the Indian foreign service in 1949 and served as the High Commissioner for India in Australia and New Zealand. He eventually returned to India and was appointed chairman of the public service commission in the State of Saurashtra in 1953. Even in his diplomatic role, he remained highly respected and admired.

Duleepsinhji’s cricketing prowess, combined with his charm and modesty, left an enduring legacy in the world of cricket. Although his career was tragically cut short, his elegant batting style, exceptional fielding, and profound love for the game distinguished him as one of the outstanding personalities of his era in first-class cricket. He passed away on December 5, 1959, in Bombay at the age of 54, leaving behind a remarkable cricketing legacy that is still celebrated today.

Duleep Career Stats

Duleep Batting Stats

Batting Matches Innings Nos Runs High Score Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 12 19 2 995 173 58.52 - - 3 5 - 1 10 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 205 333 23 15485 333 49.95 - - 50 64 - - 256 0
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Duleep Bowling Stats

Bowling Matches Innings Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Tests 12 1 6 7 0 - - - 7 - 0 0 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 205 - 1835 1345 28 4/49 - 48.03 4.39 65.5 - 0 0
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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