The first Indian international cricketer with four initials, Ghulam Parkar (born on 24th October 1955) in Kaluste, of Maharashtra earned renown from a very young age as a dashing opening batsman and an outstanding cover fielder of superlative quality. While he usually manned cover, he was often a part of Ashok Mankad’s strategy: Mankad played him deceptively back at mid-on, and if the unsuspecting batsman attempted an extra run, Parkar swooped down on the ball and pulled off run outs with his famous direct hits — a skill he had apparently picked up due to years of playing pittu.
Parkar went on the England tour, playing the only Test of his career. Opening batting with Sunil Gavaskar. He also played 10 ODIs between 1982 and 1984-85, he also scored 165 runs at 18. His finest effort came at Guwahati in 1982-83, when he top-scored with 42 in a total of 178 for 7 against a rampant West Indies.
He had played a solitary Test, was also the leading opener for Bombay after Ashok Mankad’s retirement. An aggressive batsman, he scored 4,167 runs at 42.09 in First-Class cricket, but in Ranji Trophy the numbers read 3,087 at 49.79.
He scored 4,167 First-Class runs at 42. He peaked in 1980-81, with 59 and 146 in the semi-final and 121 in the final. The following season he had a run of 148*, 40, 156, 84, 68 in Ranji Trophy; the 156 came in a 421-run opening stand with Gavaskar against Bengal.
In England Ghulam scored 433 runs at 36 with 146 against Yorkshire and 92 against MCC. Back home he slammed 77 against the touring West Indians. He never actually lost form (after the first two seasons his average never dipped below the 35-mark), but still quit at 30.
He was determined to win a Ranji Trophy for Bombay – and achieved that in the 1984-85 season. By then, Gavaskar had decided to move down the order, and Parkar was the senior opener. He scored 748 runs in the season at 57.53 with a hundred and five 50s, and was one of the heroes of Bombay’s last tournament win before a drought lasting nine seasons.
He was famously involved in a 421-run opening partnership against Bengal in the 1981-82 quarter-final. This came after an unbeaten 148 in the same season, and was followed by valiant efforts of 84 and 68 in the semi-final as Bombay went down to Karnataka. He ended the season with 624 runs at 62.40, following 797 at 49.81 the previous season.
|Batting style||Right-hand bat|
|Bowling style||Right-arm medium|
|Source: , 4 February 2006|
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