By Deepika Notani
Rajinder Goel was almost robotic in his bowling pattern, and was a captain’s delight. He never asked for any particular end or field placement. “Just give me one over to find my rhythm,” he’d say confidently. Rajinder Goel passed away, at the age of 77 on 21st June 2020.
He played 157 first-class matches, most of them for Haryana, and finished with 750 wickets. Rajinder Goyal was a former cricketer who holds the record for most wickets in Ranji Trophy, India’s premier first–class competition, despite which he was never selected to play for India. He was the top wickettaker in 1978-79, 1979-80, and his last two seasons 1983-84 and 1984-85. He was left arm spinner who served cricket selflessly and quietly.
Born in United Punjab’s Narwana town in 1942, Rajinder Goel played his first Ranji game for South Punjab in 1958-59, representing Haryana as well as Delhi. Mr Goel and Mr Shivalkar were awarded the Col. CK Nadu Lifetime Achievement Award by the BCCI for the year 2016. Mr Goel took up coaching after retirement and also served as chairman of the junior national selection committee.
“Saddened to hear about the passing away of Rajinder Goel ji! He was a stalwart of Indian Domestic Cricket picking up more than 600 wickets in the Ranji Trophy. May his soul Rest in Peace and my heartfelt condolences to his near and dear ones,” Sachin wrote on Twitter.
During his playing days, Rajinder Goel was employed by the State Bank of India. He later served as a selector for Haryana and the Indian junior teams. His son Nitin Goel was also a first class cricketer for Haryana. Indian cricket fraternity mourns the demise of legendary spinner Rajinder Goel.
Image Credits: Sakal Times