Hyderabad: Former Hyderabad Ranji middle order batsman T Vijaya Paul passed way early on Friday morning. He was 66. He is survived by his wife and two sons. Regarded as a solid and compact batsman, Paul played 34 first class matches, making his debut in 1970. He retired in 1984.
After he quit the game, he became a successful coach and went to produce players like Ambati Rayudu and left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha who played for the country.
Paul was one of the pillars of the Andhra Bank team in the local leagues. Andhra Bank had also won Grand Slam tournaments in the city under his captaincy.
P Jyothi Prasad, who played alongside Paul, mourned the death. “He was technically a very sound batsman. He had a good temperament to play a long innings,’’ he said
International umpire Ivaturi Shivram recalled that Paul was a gentleman. “He never argued with a decision. He had a peculiar superstition. He would defend the first ball, irrespective of whether the ball was bowled short, full toss. But once he settled down at the crease, he stood like a wall. He had tons of patience.’’
A Nandakishore, former Ranji captain, said Paul was one of the finest coaches. “He had a very good knowledge of the game. Many of the current batsmen benefited from his coaching. He could spot a talent and groom him into a good cricketer.’’