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NEW DELHI: Tributes poured in on Sunday for former cricketer Salim Durani, a hero of India’s maiden series victory over England, who died at the age of 88.

An attacking left-handed batsman and a left-arm orthodox bowler, Durani played 29 Tests for India between 1960 and 1973 and scored his only century against the West Indies.

Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar said: “Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Salim Durani ji. A really warm and loving person.”

Born in Kabul, Durani played for the Indian states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and the former Saurashtra in first-class cricket and was loved by fans for his six-hitting prowess.

“I have had the opportunity to interact with him and was deeply impressed by his multifaceted persona. He will surely be missed,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

Durani starred in India’s historic first series victory over England in 1961-62 when he took eight wickets in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and then 10 in Madras (now Chennai).

He played a key role in another famous win against the West Indies in 1971 in Port of Spain when he dismissed Clive Lloyd and Gary Sobers, the latter for a duck.

He was dropped for the Kanpur Test in 1973 against England, but brought back for the next match after protests from fans who held placards and raised slogans of “No Durani, no Test”.

The tall and charismatic Durani also starred in a Bollywood film.

Indian Premier League teams observed a moment’s silence on Sunday to mourn the death of Durani, fondly called “Prince Salim”.

“Gutted to hear about the passing away of one of Team India legends Salim Durani,” Jay Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), wrote on Twitter.

“Today, we have lost one of Indian cricket’s crown jewels.”

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