Mumbai: India's noted radio commentator, Suresh Saraiya, has died in Mumbai. The commentary veteran, who commented on over 100 Test matches, the last of which was between India and New Zealand in Nagpur in 2010, was 76.
A college-level cricketer, Saraiya made his commentary debut for All-India Radio in 1965, alongside Indian cricket stalwarts Vijay Merchant and Dicky Rutnagar. He also commented with the likes of Devraj Puri, Sardindu Sanyal, Indernarayan Premnarayan and Madhav Mantri. Among the famous matches Saraiya commented on was India’s famous chase of 403 on the 1975-76 tour of the West Indies.
Well-known TV commentator Harsha Bhogle was one of the first to express his condolences on Twitter. “Such a sad day. My friend Suresh Bhai Saraiya with whom i shared so many tours passed away this evening. I worked with so many commentators--few with his desire and preparation. He loved cricket did our Suresh bhai. We shared rooms in South Africa and Sri Lanka and I saw how much cricket meant to him. Helped so many through central bank. In grief. All India radio was Suresh Saraiya's heart & soul. Was like a child when we broadcast from South Africa. He had tears that morning in Durban,” tweeted Bhogle.
The All-India Radio commentator covered 100 Tests and close to 150 ODIs in a long career.
AIR, ABC, Australia and Radio New Zealand and other broadcasters have used his services for close to 150 ODIs and four World Cup finals. Saraiya gave live commentary from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Sharjah, England, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, West Indies and Toronto.