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Saleem Durani - (1934- 2023)

Saleem Durani is a former Indian cricketer who was an all-rounder known for his left-arm spin bowling and middle-order batting. He played for India in the 1960s and 1970s, and was a key member of the Indian team that won its first-ever Test series against the West Indies in 1971. Durani was born on December 20, 1944, in Ajmer, Rajasthan. He started playing cricket at a young age, and made his first-class debut for Rajasthan in 1960-61. He soon established himself as a talented all-rounder, and was selected to play for India in 1960-61 on the tour of the West Indies. Durani made his Test debut for India in the second Test of the series against the West Indies in 1962. He did not have a successful debut, scoring only 2 runs and taking no wickets in the match. However, he soon bounced back and became a regular member of the Indian team. Durani's best performance in Test cricket came in the famous 1971 series against the West Indies, when he played a key role in India's historic series win. In the first Test of the series, he scored a crucial 50 in the second innings to help India set a challenging target for the West Indies. In the second Test, he took 6 wickets in the match, including a match-winning spell of 4 for 40 in the second innings. He also contributed with the bat, scoring 45 runs in the match. In the fourth Test, he again played a crucial role with the ball, taking 4 wickets in the match to help India win the series. Durani's success in the 1971 series made him a hero in India, and he became known for his fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude. He continued to play for India for several more years, and also played for the Indian team in the first three editions of the World Cup. After retiring from cricket, Durani remained involved in the game as a coach and commentator. He also served as a member of the selection committee for the Indian cricket team. Durani was known for his friendly and outgoing personality, and was popular among his teammates and fans. He was also a skilled fielder, known for his agility and sharp reflexes. In recognition of his contributions to Indian cricket, Durani was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1961 and the Padma Shri in 1970. In conclusion, Saleem Durani was a legendary cricketer who played a key role in India's first-ever Test series win against the West Indies in 1971. He was a talented all-rounder who was known for his fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest cricketers to have represented India on the international stage.



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