Mumbai:Condoling the death of his predecessor Raj Singh Dungarpur here on Saturday, Cricket Board President Shashank Manohar termed it as a great loss for the game in the country.
"It is a great loss to Indian cricket. Rajbhai served Indian cricket diligently and with distinction, in several capacities. He was a self-effacing individual who always put the sport, and Indian cricket in particular, above everything else," Manohar said in a statement.
BCCI secretary N Srinivasan recalled how Raj Singh, as the chief selector, picked champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar at the tender age of 16 on the tough tour of Pakistan in 1989-90.
"He had several stints as national selector, and headed the All-India Selection Committee in the late 1980s. As chairman, he was instrumental in defying skeptics and picking a 16-year-old boy for India's tour of Pakistan in 1989-90. The boy has since become a legend," the BCCI secretary said.
"Rajbhai, as he was affectionately addressed by the cricketing community, was a right-arm fast-medium bowler who represented and then led Rajasthan successfully in the Ranji Trophy in the 1960s. He dedicated his post-retirement life to cricket administration. Among the many Indian teams he managed was the side that won a Test series in England in 1986," Srinivasan said.
Srinivasan also lauded Dungarpur for his vision in creating the Bangalore-based National Cricket Academy.
"Rajbhai's capabilities as a visionary were also evident in the form of the critical role that he essayed in the institution of the National Cricket Academy, Indian cricket's finishing school, at Bangalore in 2000. He was President of the BCCI from 1996-97 to 1998-99," Srinivasan said.
Describing Dungarpur as an "encyclopedia on cricket", Srinivasan said the cricketer-turned-administrator "went out of his way to encourage junior cricketers and even cricket writers."
"It was during his long and eventful stint as President of the Cricket Club of India that the sport returned to the club in a big way, in the form of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2006," Srinivasan pointed out in his condolence message.