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Laxmidas Purshottamdas Jai - A Major Figure in Indian Cricket



Laxmidas Purshottamdas Jai (1 April 1902 – 29 January 1968) was a major figure in Indian cricket between the wars.

Jai was born in a Gujarati family in Bombay. He was a graceful right-handed stroke-player, and most of his finer innings came in the Bombay Quadrangular competition. He captained Bombay to the title in the first-ever Ranji Trophy championship.

Because of the Hindu Gymkhana's opposition in protest against the jailing of Indian political leaders, Jai, along with Vijay Merchant and Champak Mehta, was unavailable for trial matches to select the Indian team that toured England in 1932. The tour included India's first-ever Test match. His only Test was the first ever in India. He toured England in 1936, but a broken finger restricted his appearances.

He served as a selector in the 1950s before resigning over a dispute during the 1958/59 series against West Indies. The trophy awarded to the scorer of the fastest hundred in Ranji trophy every season was named after him.

Career

As was the case with cricketers prior to commercial sponsorships, Jai was employed by the Imperial Bank of India, later State Bank of India, by way of a job for life. This helped to nurture his hobby, philately. He became an eminent philatelist, specializing in British Empire stamps.

Laxmidas Purshottamdas Jai died on 29 January 1968 in Bombay from cardiac arrest.