Rajkot, May 16: Former Saurashtra pacer and BCCI match referee Rajendrasinh Jadeja has died due to COVID-19, the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) said on Sunday. Jadeja was 66 years old.
"Everyone at SCA are deeply saddened on the untimely demise of Rajendrasinh Jadeja, one of the most remarkable yesteryear cricketers of Saurashtra. He left for heavenly abode today early morning fighting a hard battle against COVID-19," the SCA said in a statement.
Rajendrasinh was one of the finest right-arm medium pacers and a remarkable all-rounder. He played 50 first-class matches and 11 List A games, taking 134 and 14 wickets respectively in a 12-year period between 1975-1987. He scored 1,536 runs in first-class matches and 104 runs in List A cricket.
Indian cricket team's head coach Ravi Shastri, who has played office and zonal cricket with the former medium pacer, expressed his condolences. Shastri and Jadeja played for famous office side in Mumbai cricket Nirlons, for which even Sunil Gavaskar played Times Shield.
"Really sad to lose a colleague from Nirlons Mumbai and West Zone and a friend for many years, Raju Jadeja due to COVID complications. A gentleman to the core. May his soul rest in peace," Shastri tweeted.
Jadeja served as the BCCI's official referee in 53 first-class matches, 18 List A games and 34 T20s. He also served as selector, coach and team manager of SCA. Former BCCI and SCA secretary Niranjan Shah said, "Rajendrasinh Jadeja was the man with quality, style, ethics and great cricketing capabilities. His dedication and contribution to cricket shall be remembered forever."
SCA president Jaydev Shah, too, condoled his demise, saying, "it is an immense loss to the world of cricket. Rajendra sir was one of the finest men I have met. I am fortunate to play many matches having him as our head coach, manager and mentor."
(With PTI inputs)