Dicky Rutnagur, an admired sports journalist who found his metier in serious cricket writing in India and England and in radio commentary passed away in London on Thursday night. He was 82 and survived by son Richard Sohrab Rutnagur. “He spoke to me on Wednesday (June 19). He was ailing for a long time and was admitted to hospital yesterday morning and he passed away in the evening. Richard-Sohrab was with him” said Dicky’s sister Arnavaz Dubash from her South-Mumbai residence.
After battling cancer for many years, Dicky visited Mumbai for the last time in November 2010. He was at his jovial best narrating anecdotes and cracking jokes while enjoying Sindhi cusine at a reunion of some cricketers of the 1950s and 60s (Bapu Nadkarni, Nari Contractor and Madhav Apte) and a handful of journalists at Sachin Bajaj’s Colaba residence.
Dicky edited the Indian Cricket-Field Annual for eight years, from the late 50s to the mid 60s with Pearson Surita as the associate editor and Anandji Dossa as the statistical editor. He wrote for several periodicals like the Hindustan Times, The Mail, The Hindu and Sport and Pastime. He migrated to the U.K. in the mid-1960s and wrote extensively for The Daily Telegraph for almost 40 years.
Paying rich tributes to Dicky, veteran cricket writer Raju Bharatan said, “Dicky, while studying at St. Xaviers College, was first spotted by Ron Hendricks (Sports Editor, Bharat). He was hard working and he knew his cricket. He, K. N. Prabhu (Times of India) and S. V. Seshadri (PTI) covered a lot of cricket those days. He was a jovial character and an all-rounder in the sense that he covered many sport. He was a table tennis referee and followed and reported on the sport seriously.”
Former India captain Nari Contractor said: “I knew Dicky from college days at St. Xaviers. He knew the game well. There was nothing hanky-panky about him; he would write what he observed and heard.”
Dicky authored two books: Test Commentary ( India v England 1976-77) and Khans Unlimited (History of squash in Pakistan).