Rajinder Goel, the veteran domestic cricketer, on Sunday evening, passed away at his residence in Rohtak, Haryana. Goel, who was suffering from a prolonged illness before he took his last breath at the age of 77. The left-arm spinner from Haryana held the prestigious record for most wickets in the history of Ranji Trophy cricket. However, despite a staggering tally of 750 first-class wickets, Goel never got an opportunity to play for India at the highest level
A host of former and current Indian cricketers expressed their condolences upon the passing of the legendary spinner. Indian skipper Virat Kohli prayed for strength to his family and his loved ones in a tweet expressing his heartfelt condolences.
Here's what Virat Kohli tweeted:
We've lost a legend in Rajinder Goel Ji. Him being the highest wicket-taker in the history of Ranji Trophy, speaks volumes about the career he had. Wishing all the strength to his family and loved ones. 🙏🏼
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) June 22, 2020
Click here to see Rajinder Goel stats
Even the BCCI President Sourav Ganguly mourned the death of the deceased cricketer. “The Indian cricketing community has lost a giant of domestic cricket today,” he said in a statement. “His staggering record tells you about his craft and the control he had over it. To have a career that lasts more than 25 years and still be able to perform consistently speaks about his dedication and commitment towards the game. To be able to pick 750 wickets needs years and years of hard work and I salute his efforts. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family.”
An unfortunate cricketing career for Goel
Rajinder Goel was often regarded as one of the unfortunate cricketers to have ever played the game. Despite being a master at his work, Goel could never break into the Indian setup. He played in an era when the Indian national side was blessed to have a spin quartet including the likes of Erapalli Prasanna, Bishan Singh Bedi, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, and S Venkatraghavan. However, the unfulfilled dream of playing for India never deterred Goel's confidence as he kept churning wickets at the first-class level for his state team.
Goel's contemporary, Bishan Singh Bedi also grieved upon his death. The 73-year old mentioned about Goel's sense of contentment that defined his journey as a cricketer.
Rajinder Goel was easily the most ‘contented’ human being I’ve known…I used to envy his sense of ‘contentment’ in my moments of turmoil..RIP ‘Goely’..You bowled yur heart out to keep Ranji Trophy alive..!! pic.twitter.com/U1ZZCQE7KW
— Bishan Bedi (@BishanBedi) June 21, 2020
In 2017, Goel was conferred with CK Nayadu Lifetime Achievement Award by the BCCI. In his entire career, Goel racked up 59 five-wickets hauls along with 18 ten-wicket hauls.