Debasis Sen, London: It was a very sad news to wake up with on Sunday morning as Gopal da (Gopal Bose) is no more. It was a bit shocking as it was only a few days back when I met him personally.
The memories are still fresh as he visited our place in Birmingham with his son Arijit on August 04, the day after the first test match got over in Edgbaston. Spotting his customary bright smile, Gopalda (we all know him by that name) entered our apartment and greeted me. He looked quite lean and weak but that did not stop him from cracking a joke or two. During the couple of hours he stayed with us, it was some serious discussion on the test match along with a few anecdotes.
Gopal Bose arrived in Birmingham on August 02 and was staying with his son at Walsall. It has become an annual itinerary for him as he comes and spends time with them during the summer. Gopal Bose to me was an individual with a sharp cricket mind and someone who read the game very well. I remember whenever I went to him, he gave an in-depth analysis on any cricketing topic.
Gopal Bose was diagnosed with a cardiac attack and was admitted to Walsall Manor Hospital on Wednesday, August 22. He was kept in Intensive Cardiac Unit (ICU) for two days and was shifted to cabin as he showed signs of improvement. But he was again shifted back to ICU on Saturday after his condition deteriorated. He breathed his least breath on Sunday around 4:55am local time. The funeral ceremony will take place here on Monday in the presence of his family members. He is survived by his wife, son Arijit along with daughter in law and granddaughter Alisha Basu. The local funeral management company will carry out his last rites.
“It is a massive loss to me. I have not only lost my father but someone who had a huge motivational influence and support,” said his son Arijit from his residence in Birmingham.
He also added, “My father was someone who never backed out from anything. He was always there to help. I lost a pillar of strength today. ”
Gopal Bose was a brilliant cricketer, coach and manager. He opened the batting for India in its first ever ODI against England in 1974. Gopal Bose cannot be judged by the 13 runs he scored as he was a far more accomplished batsman. It was evident as he shared an opening stand of 194 runs with Sunil Gavaskar in the un-official test match against Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in the same year. He was also the manager when Virat Kohli led India to the U’19 World Cup win in Malaysia in 2008.
The seventy year old cricketer has always been a big supporter of Virat Kohli. During the discussion he told, “There can be no doubts in anyone’s mind that Virat is the best batsman in the world at the moment. He grafted his innings well at Edgbaston. India is fortunate to have a batsman like Virat. ”
The passing away of Gopal Bose will leave a huge vaccum as many cricketers have been mentored by him. Top among that list is Debang Gandhi, who was with his family the last three days London in Birmingham.
“It is a irreparable loss to me as I knew him (Gopal Bose) for 31 years. I learnt my cricket from him as he was my coach. Later after I retired he became my friend. We had a lot of adda at my place and most of our discussion was primarily surrounding cricket.”
He added, “I was with his family last three days. I rushed to the hospital hearing the news. All I can say it is a huge loss to me. ”
Gopal Bose was supposed to leave back home next month on September 11. But who knew he will leave us forever. Wherever you are Gopal da, may your soul rest in peace and keep smiling on us.