Veteran cricket writer Rajan Bala passed away on Friday in Bangalore following a prolonged illness.

Rajan turned 63 two days ago and died at a hospital in the Garden City where he had been admitted, according to family sources.

Rajan, who joined the journalistic profession in the mid-1960s, had worked for several newspapers which included ’The Statesman’, ‘The Hindu’, ‘Deccan Herald’, ‘Indian Express’, ‘Afternoon Despatch and Courier’ and ‘The Asian Age’

He was also the Indian correspondent of the Wisden Cricketer and Wisden Almanac for many years. In the last few years he was a columnist for the ‘Bangalore Mirror’ and ’Express Buzz’

Rajan had authored half a dozen books on his passion.

His latest book on cricket “Days Well Spent” was to have been originally launched in Bangalore tomorrow and would now be released in Mumbai later, family sources said.

His last published book was “The Covers Are Off — A Socio—Historical Study of Indian Cricket : 1932—2003”.

A renowned cricket writer who used his pen with felicity, Rajan was an icon for the younger generation of writers of the willow game in the 1970s who followed his despatches from various parts of the cricket world with great interest.

Rajan, who completed his higher education in London, was a tremendous raconteur on the game and was also a voracious reader not only on cricket but on various other subjects too.

Though he wrote primarily on cricket, Rajan had in-depth knowledge of Indian football, having grown up in Kolkata, and tennis — to name a few other games.

Rajan was also a good club-level cricketer who used to bat higher up the order and bowl off spin.