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Naoomal Jeoomal Makhija - Indian Cricketer

Naoomal Jeoomal Makhijawas an Indian cricketer, known for being India's first opening batsman in Test cricket. He was born on 17 April 1904, in Karachi, Sindh, and passed away on 28 July 1980.

Early Life

He was born to the son of the head clerk of a private company. Matriculating in his education, Naoomal Jeoomal made his First-Class debut against Arthur Gilligan's MCC in 1926-27 for Hindus and The Rest at Karachi, scoring 16.

Career Highlights

Naoomal Jeoomal scored 33 and 25, opening India's innings in their first-ever Test at Lord's in 1932. He shared stands of 39 and 41 with his opening partner Janardan Navle in the two innings. Wisden even commented on Jeoomal's fielding abilities.

During England's return visit in 1933–34, Jeoomal faced challenges, scoring 2 and 43 at Calcutta. However, in Madras, he suffered a significant injury when hit on the face by Nobby Clark, ending his innings and preventing further Test appearances.

Jeoomal continued his cricketing journey, achieving notable performances in the Ranji Trophy and Sind Pentangular matches. His highest score in first-class cricket was an impressive 203* for Sind against Nawanagar in 1938–39.

Retirement and Coaching

After retiring from playing, Naoomal Jeoomal Makhija contributed to the cricketing world by coaching Pakistan in the late 1950s and serving as a national selector from 1957. Later, he moved to India in 1971.

In 1980, Naoomal Jeoomal Makhija attended the Golden Jubilee Test, marking the fiftieth year of the founding of BCCI. At that time, he was the oldest Indian Test cricketer present, with Cota Ramaswami, the oldest living cricketer, being absent.