Pradeep Vijayakar, a Times man till death: RIP

sans serif records the demise of Pradeep Vijayakar, the longtime sports correspondent of The Times of India, on Saturday, 1 January 2011.

Vijayakar had been suffering from cancer of the pancreas and had been ailing for some time. He would have turned 60 in five days’ time.

Vijayakar, who started his career with Sportsweek, had been with The Times of India since 1975 and has been quoted as saying that he would work with the paper till his death.

A legspinner who played with batting legend Sunil Gavaskar for St. Xavier’s college, Vijayakar was known for his diligence be it in covering an international cricket fixture, a local hockey match or a school event.

He shared a birthday with another famous Indian cricket legend, Kapil Dev.

“He would always be the first to wish me. I spoke to Pradeep two days ago, and he said he’d be alright soon and ‘we’ll meet again’. That couldn’t happen,” said Kapil Dev.

“In our time, players and journalists were like friends; he was always around.”

The Times of India ran a tribute on its sports pages and an advertisement (above) appeared on the classified pages in Bombay.

In a tribute in Mid-Day, the veteran sports writer Ayaz Memon wrote:

“As a department colleague during my stint with the Times of India, Pradeep would often talk of his joys at reporting little-known matches, spotting and encouraging young talent. “This is the stage at which sport is at its cleanest and most enjoyable,” he would say.

“Pradeep was a terrific raconteur, a prankster, fond of ghazals and old songs which he would croon with the seriousness of a professional playback singer. He was also fond of collecting memorabilia,including for some reason which I was never able to fathom, match-boxes from all over the world.”

Photograph: courtesy The Times of India

Also read: Ayaz Memon on Pradeep Vijayakar

2 Comments

  1. Allwyn Fernandes

    Apart from all that you have said, Pradeep was a gentleman
    to the core. I knew him for over two decades. We used to sit a
    short distance away from each other. He was always soft-spoken and
    had a perpetual smile on his face. I have never known him to speak
    ill of anyone and even if we did so, as journalists backbiting a
    great deal, he would merely smile and shrug his shoulders. I feel
    sad that he had to go so early. May his soul Rest In Peace. Goodbye
    Pradeep.

  2. R.C. Rajamani

    I knew Pradeep Vijaykar since early 1970s in Bombay.
    He was a gentle soul, soft spoken and never uttered a harsh word. Of course he joked a lot in good humour.
    I had covered a number of cricket matches as a PTI reporter with Pradeep,who was first with sports week and later Times if memory serves me right.After I was transferred to Delhi I had met him now and then at some sporting event or the other in Delhi, Bombay and other places. I still remember CK Nayudu under-22 cricket matches in the mid 70s we covered together. Vengsarkar was one of India’s discoveries from the tournament. A few years ago when I interviewed Salim Durrani in Delhi,the cricketer told me Vijaykar is helping him write his autobiography. I had lost touch with Pradeep in the last 7-8 years. A competent journalist, slick broadcaster, Pradeep signed off much before his time. My heart felt condolences to his family members. May his soul rest in peace
    RC Rajamani, former Dy Editor, PTI, now Editorial Consultant, The Statesman, New Delhi

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