Sudhir Vaidya has devoted a lifetime for cricket, as the game’s record keeper
Vol 2 | Issue 21
How passionate can one be about a hobby? Perhaps not more than 72-year-old Sudhir Vaidya, whose voluminous collection of cricket records found him a place in the Limca Book of Records 2010. The Mumbai-based man has been collecting statistics pertaining to cricket right from 1957.
Sudhir can provide you with statistics from test cricket since 1876-77, and one-day internationals since 1971. He has data on 1971 Tests, over 3050 one-day internationals, 300 Twenty20 matches, and over 5000 first-class matches of domestic championships in India.
Scorer of scorers: Sudhir Vaidya (seen in photo with wife Hema) is a treasure-trove of cricket history
He compiled the data while working as an administrative officer in some top companies for 30 years doing well to juggle between his work, passion, and family.
“I did justice to my job, my family and my hobby,” says the energetic Vaidya, now stationed at the Wankhade Stadium, Mumbai as the official statistician for the ongoing IPL matches. He has been ably supported by his family in this endeavour right from the beginning. Both his son and daughter are married and settled in Pune.
Initially, he collected cricket pictures published in the Times of India. His raw hobby got a proper shape after he met some writers who wrote about cricket in Marathi periodicals. Arvind Tatke, one popular journalist introduced him to Dr Kanga Memorial Library, which has a huge collection of literature on sports.
“I spent all my evenings and holidays in this library, making notes on various aspects of cricket. I became a life member in February 1958 and today I am the second oldest living member of this library. Famous cricketers like Vijay Merchant, Anandji Dossa, Homi Contractor and Suresh Saraiya encouraged and assisted me in this hobby,” says Vaidya proudly.
Since 1959, Vaidya has been contributing articles on cricket records and statistics to leading newspapers and journals like Times of India, Indian Express, The Hindu, Sportsweek, Sportstar, Sportsworld, Onlooker, Maharashtra Times, and Dharmayug.
He also writes regularly for international publications such as Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, Benson & Hedges Cricket Year Book, and The Cricketer – Facts and Figures. Besides he has been contributing statistical records and articles on interesting happenings in world cricket and domestic cricket to ‘cricketnext.com’ for the last 10 years.
He has compiled and published nearly 25 books. Some of the most popular books are ‘Figures of Cricket’ (three editions), ‘Vinoo Mankad’ (1969), ‘Know Your Cricketers’ (1981), ‘Galaxy of Indian Test Cricketers’ (1990), ‘Book of World Cup Cricket’ (2003 and 2007), ‘Bombay in Ranji Trophy Championship’ (1992) and ‘MID-DAY World Cup Cricket’ (2003).
His book ‘Vinoo Mankad’ won a prize in the second national competition for published literature on sports and games, organized by the Ministry of Education & Social Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi in 1972. A documentary on the legendary cricketer was made by the Films Division based entirely on this book.
Sudhir has edited several editions of the statistical annuals of the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India). Since 1971, he has been providing statistics to cricket commentators on All India Radio and various television channels.
He has covered nearly 191 matches of all kinds in major cities for radio/television and has travelled to many countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, England, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Abu Dhabi.