Nikhil Kotnis, UKOn Cricinfo, Steven Lynch gets gets this question
My great uncle, Kandu Rangneker, played one Test for India in Australia in the 1930s (I think). He didn't get a great score then, but I gather he was fairly prolific in domestic cricket. Do you have any info?
Your great uncle, Khanderao Moreshwar ('Kandu) Rangnekar (1917-1984) was indeed a prolific scorer in Indian domestic cricket for Holkar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bombay.
A left-handed batsman and right-arm medium-paced bowler, he appeared in 85 first-class matches (1939-64), scoring 4605 runs, averaging 41.83, taking 21 wickets (best 5-112) and holding 42 catches.
He celebrated his first-class debut in 1939-40 by scoring the first of his 15 centuries, 102 for Maharashtra v Western India at Poona. The highest of his three double-centuries was 217 for Holkar v Hyderabad in 1950-51. He appeared in three Tests in Australia in 1947-48 scoring 33 runs at 5.50 (1, 0, 6, 18, 8 and 0).
A vice-president of the Indian Board of Control, he became president of the Bombay Cricket Association.
When I was a child in the 1970s, a man came for dinner, and said he had played for India. He must have been in his fifties then. He said he played three Tests, candidly admitted he didn't do well, but two things he said about his debut Test stick in my memory. First, that the two best Australian batsmen were both out hit wicket, and also that he himself was out in both innings to somebody they called the "Black Prince". Which Indian cricketer could this have been, and who was the Aussie? Thanks for any help ... I've been tormented by this for years! asked Dilip D'Souza from Bombay
Your dinner guest must have been Khandu Rangnekar, a stylish left-hander who made 102 on his first-class debut, for Maharashtra against Western India at Poona in 1939-40, and who also made three double-centuries, the highest 217 for Holkar against Hyderabad at Indore in the 1950-51 Ranji Trophy semi-final. He won three Test caps, all in Australia in 1947-48, and didn't cover himself with glory, making only 33 runs in his six innings. On his debut, at Brisbane in November 1947, both Arthur Morris (who made 47) and Don Bradman (185) were out hit wicket. Rangnekar himself made only 1 and 0, falling in both innings to the left-armer Ernie Toshack ... whose nickname was indeed "The Black Prince", apparently on account of his curly dark hair. Toshack had the amazing figures of 5 for 2 in the first innings, and added 6 for 29 in the second. It was India's first tour of Australia, and proved a difficult one: the Aussies won that first Test by an innings and 226 runs, and took the series 4-0, with Bradman scoring 715 runs at an average of 178.75. Rangnekar later became the president of the Bombay Cricket Association, and vice-president of the Indian board: sadly, he died in 1984.
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