Deepak Shodhan amassed 181 runs in three Tests at 60.33.  Photo Courtesy: Deepak Shodhan
Deepak Shodhan amassed 181 runs in three Tests at 60.33 for India. Photo Courtesy: Deepak Shodhan


It was with Madhav Mantri’s sad demise Pananmal Punjabi had become India’s oldest surviving Test cricketer. However, after news came out that Punjabi had passed away almost unnoticed on October 4, 2011, the baton would have passed on to Deepak Shodhan. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at the oldest Indian Test cricketers surviving.


Pananmal Hotchand Punjabi, 19 days younger than Madhav Mantri, became India’s oldest surviving cricketer after the demise of the latter — only for a couple of days. Bipin Dani, the Mid-Day columnist, had brought the news of Punjabi’s death to forefront recently.


Following the news, CricketCountry staff scanned through the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) database and found that Punjabi had passed away in a hospital on October 4, 2011. He was nevertheless a nonagenarian, having lived 14 days past his 90th birthday.


The news makes Deepak Shodhan the oldest living Indian Test cricketer. Shodhan, a left-hander who had scored a hundred on Test debut against Pakistan at Eden Gardens, was left out of the side after scoring 181 runs at 60.33 — the best average among Indian Test cricketers with completed careers.


This means that there is no living Indian Test cricketer above 86. The full list of those over 80 reads:


 Player Date of Birth Age on May 25, 2014
Deepak Shodhan 18-Oct-28 85 years 218 days
Datta Gaekwad 27-Oct-28 85 years 209 days
CD Gopinath 1-Mar-30 84 years 84 days
Chandrakant Patankar 24-Nov-30 83 years 181 days
Madhav Apte 5-Oct-32 81 years  231 days
Bapu Nadkarni 4-Apr-33 81 years 50 days
Sadashiv Patil 10-Oct-33 80 years 226 days
Nari Contractor 7-Mar-34 80 years 78 days


(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs at and can be followed on Twitter at