New Delhi: One of Indian cricket’s most well-known batsmen without an international hundred, former opener Chetan Chauhan died on Sunday due to COVID-19 related complications after being put on life support for nearly 36 hours.
Chauhan, who was 73, was serving as the Minister of Sainik Welfare, Home Guards, and Civil Security in the Uttar Pradesh cabinet. He is survived by his wife and son Vinayak.
“My elder brother Shri Chetan Chauhan has left us today after fighting a good battle. I sincerely thank everyone who had prayed for his recovery. His son Vinayak will be reaching anytime and we will then perform last rites,” his younger brother Pushpendra told PTI.
Chauhan, who was the legendary Sunil Gavaskar’s longest serving opening partner, was admitted to Sanjay Gandhi PGI in Lucknow on July 12 after being testing positive for COVID-19.
Due to kidney related ailments, his health deteriorated and he was shifted to Medanta hospital in Gurugram.
On Friday night, he had a multi-organ failure and was put on ventilator support.
Prime minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to the veteran BJP member.
“Shri Chetan Chauhan Ji distinguished himself as a wonderful cricketer and later as a diligent political leader. He made effective contributions to public service and strengthening the BJP in UP. Anguished by his passing away,” Modi posted on Twitter.
After retiring as a player, Chauhan served as the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) in various capacities — president, vice-president, secretary and chief selector — apart from being manager of the Indian Team during its tour of Australia in 2001.
He was honoured with Arjuna award in 1981. After taking the political plunge, Chauhan was twice elected to the Lok Sabha from Amroha in Uttar Pradesh, in 1991 and 1998.
He is the second UP minister to have succumbed to coronavirus.
On August 2, state technical education minister Kamla Rani Varun, 62, had died days after testing positive for COVID-19.
During his 12-year-long cricket career, Chauhan played 40 Tests scoring 2084 runs with 16 half-centuries and two wickets. He could not ever get a hundred with being 97 his best.
With Gavaskar, Chauhan formed a formidable opening partnership for India and the duo scored more than 3000 runs, including 12 century stands.
Having made his first-class debut as a 22-year-old against Mumbai, Chauhan was known to be a brave batsman of his generation.
One of the most memorable moments of his career as an opener was a 213-run stand with Gavaskar against England at The Oval in 1979, during which he scored 80 runs.
Chauhan was the first Test cricketer to finish his career with over 2000 runs but without a century.