Durani made his Test debut against Australia at in the beginning of 1960 at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium, and played his last international match — then only restricted to the traditional, five-day format — against England in February 1973. The venue was again the place where he had started his international career.
The stylish cricketer aggregated 8,545 runs at 33.37 in first-class cricket and hit 14 hundreds.
A joy to watch when in full flow, Durani had the ability to demolish any bowling attack on his day, though it was as a bowler he had first made his mark for the Indian team.
India’s first Arjuna Award winner in cricket, Durani was a tall man and could get the ball to lift and turn on any surface with a bit of help.
A fascinating character, the cricketer shared a special relation with the crowd, who once expressed their ire after he was dropped from the team for a match in Kanpur, and carried banners and placards that read ‘No Durani, no test!’.
In domestic circuit, Durani represented Gujarat, Rajasthan and Saurashtra during a career that spanned two decades and a half.
He also starred in the Bollywood film ‘Charitra’ in 1973, opposite famous actress of the ’70s and ’80s, Praveen Babi.
(With agency inputs)
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