Salim Durrani, the legendary Indian left arm all-rounder breathed his last on 2 April 2023 at his hometown Jamnagar in Gujarat.
Known for his flamboyant on field presence and ability knock sixes on demand, Salim has a strong relationship with Udaipur. The First Class (Ranji) cricketers from Udaipur in the 1960s have played alongside Salim.
Salim was born to Afghan cricketer Abdul Aziz Durrani in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1934 and when he was just 8 months old, the family moved to Karachi. Abdul Aziz took up employment with the Maharaja of Jamnagar in Gujarat and the family moved to Jamnagar. As Abdul Aziz was playing non-Test cricket as a wicketkeeper internationally. He was also a part of CK Naydu’s side that went to Australia for a test in 1935-36. The young Salim grew up in a sporting environment. He played other sport like football and tennis, but took a liking to cricket which he eventually continued to play professionally and played for India from 1960 to 1973.
After partition, Abdul Aziz moved to Pakistan and became a coach while Salim and his brother stayed back with their mother in Jamnagar. Salim continued playing cricket professionally.
While Salim Durrani played a few domestic matches for Gujarat, he then moved to Rajasthan with the support of the Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar of Udaipur. Rajasthan was quite a renowned Ranji side in the 1960s and the team reached the Ranji Trophy finals seven times, losing to Bombay (Mumbai) all the seven times.
Dr. Arun Zachariah, ex-Vice Principal of Bhupal Nobles College shares his association with Salim Durrani in the below piece.
𝙸 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚝𝚞𝚗𝚊𝚝𝚎 𝚎𝚗𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑 𝚝𝚘 𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚢 𝚊 𝚕𝚘𝚝 𝚘𝚏 𝚌𝚛𝚒𝚌𝚔𝚎𝚝 (𝚘𝚗 𝙼.𝙱. 𝙲𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚐𝚎 𝚌𝚛𝚒𝚌𝚔𝚎𝚝 𝚐𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍), 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚂𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚖 𝙱𝚑𝚊𝚒 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝙽𝚊𝚒𝚍𝚞 𝚂𝚋 (𝚂𝚑𝚛𝚒 𝙰𝚛𝚓𝚞𝚗 𝙽𝚊𝚒𝚍𝚞), 𝚋𝚎𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚠𝚎 𝚕𝚎𝚏𝚝 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝙰𝚕𝚕-𝙸𝚗𝚍𝚒𝚊 𝙸𝚗𝚝𝚎𝚛-𝚄𝚗𝚒𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚒𝚝𝚢 𝙲𝚛𝚒𝚌𝚔𝚎𝚝 𝚃𝚘𝚞𝚛𝚗𝚊𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚜 (𝚒𝚗 1964 𝚊𝚗𝚍 1965). 𝙱𝚘𝚝𝚑 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚜𝚎 𝚌𝚛𝚒𝚌𝚔𝚎𝚝𝚎𝚛𝚜 (𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚖 𝙸𝚗𝚍𝚒𝚊𝚗 𝙲𝚛𝚒𝚌𝚔𝚎𝚝 𝚝𝚎𝚊𝚖) 𝚞𝚜𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚌𝚘𝚊𝚌𝚑 𝚞𝚜, 𝚎𝚜𝚙 𝚋𝚎𝚌𝚊𝚞𝚜𝚎 *𝙼.𝙺. 𝙰𝚛𝚟𝚒𝚗𝚍 𝙺𝚞𝚖𝚊𝚛 𝚂𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚑𝚓𝚒* (𝚗𝚘𝚠 *𝚂𝚑𝚛𝚒𝚓𝚒 𝙰𝚛𝚟𝚒𝚗𝚍 𝚂𝚒𝚗𝚐𝚑𝚓𝚒 𝙼𝚎𝚠𝚊𝚛*) 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚝𝚎𝚊𝚖-𝚌𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚊𝚒𝚗, 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚗.
𝙾𝚗𝚌𝚎, 𝚍𝚞𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊 𝚌𝚘𝚊𝚌𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐-𝚜𝚎𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚘𝚗, 𝙸 𝚜𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚂𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚖 𝙱𝚑𝚊𝚒'𝚜 𝚕𝚎𝚐-𝚜𝚙𝚒𝚗𝚗𝚎𝚛 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚊 𝚖𝚊𝚓𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚌 𝚂𝙸𝚇 ! 𝙸 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚚𝚞𝚒𝚝𝚎 𝚊𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚗𝚒𝚜𝚑𝚎𝚍 𝚋𝚢 𝚖𝚢 𝚊𝚌𝚑𝚒𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚖𝚎𝚗𝚝 and 𝚂𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚖 𝙱𝚑𝚊𝚒 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚓𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚍𝚞𝚖𝚋𝚏𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚍 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚙𝚕𝚎𝚝𝚎𝚕𝚢, 𝚋𝚢 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚂𝚒𝚡, 𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚖 𝚊 𝚌𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚐𝚎-𝚜𝚝𝚞𝚍𝚎𝚗𝚝! 𝙷𝚎 𝚕𝚘𝚘𝚔𝚎𝚍 𝚊𝚝 𝚖𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚙𝚕𝚎𝚝𝚎 𝚍𝚒𝚜𝚋𝚎𝚕𝚒𝚎𝚏 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚜𝚊𝚒𝚍, “𝙰𝚛𝚞𝚗, ये तेने क्या किया ? तेने सलीम दुर्रानी की गेंद पर छक्का ठोक दिया !"
𝙾𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚎𝚗𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚒𝚝𝚌𝚑, 𝙽𝚊𝚒𝚍𝚞 𝚂𝚋. 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚑𝚘𝚕𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚝𝚞𝚖𝚖𝚢, 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚕𝚊𝚞𝚐𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚞𝚗𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚝𝚛𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚢. 𝙷𝚎 𝚜𝚊𝚒𝚍 𝚊𝚕𝚘𝚞𝚍, 𝚐𝚕𝚎𝚎𝚏𝚞𝚕𝚕𝚢, 𝚝𝚘 𝚂𝚊𝚕𝚒𝚖 𝙱𝚑𝚊𝚒, "सलीम, तेरे साथ भी "ऐसी" चोट होनी थी क्या ?!"
𝚆𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚊 𝚑𝚊𝚗𝚍𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎, 𝚜𝚝𝚢𝚕𝚒𝚜𝚑 𝚌𝚛𝚒𝚌𝚔𝚎𝚝𝚎𝚛 𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚊𝚜 !! 𝙷𝚘𝚠 𝙸 𝚖𝚒𝚜𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚖𝚎𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚎 𝚍𝚊𝚢𝚜, 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚜𝚞𝚌𝚑 𝚎𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚙𝚎𝚘𝚙𝚕𝚎 on the cricket-field . . . !!
The news of his death takes away all the joyful nostalgia of memories with Salim bhai. May Allah bless Salim bhai’s sould with eternal peace and may his family derive strength and courage from the prayers of crores of grateful Indians and committed fans.
Dr. Arun Zachariah