One of the finest allrounders produced by India, Ladha Amar Singh was born on Dec 4, 1910 at Rajkot in Gujarat and expired in 1940 of pneumonia when he was at the peak of his career. He was a fast medium bowler, a hard-hitting lower middle order batsman and a brilliant fielder – especially in close-in positions.
Amar Singh played in only seven test matches scoring 292 runs at an average of 22.46, captured 28 wickets at an average of 30.64 and took 3 catches. In a first class career lasting only ten years he scored 3,344 runs, captured 506 wickets and picked up 77 catches. Bowling with a short run-up he could generate fierce pace off the wicket. Wally Hammond, the England great, once said, “He came off the wicket like the crack of doom”. He swung and cut the ball both ways and bowled accurately. His batting was akin to that of Kapil Dev, hitting through the line of the ball with immense power.
Amar Singh toured England in 1932 and became an instant star in the first ever test match played by India. Bowling in tandem with Mohd. Nissar – said to be India’s fastest ever bowler - he claimed four wickets in the first innings and fighting to survive in the second innings, he scored a fine 51 at number ten. Against England, in 1933/34 at Madras, he captured 7 for 86 and scored 48. Back in England in 1936, he took 6 for 35 at Lord’s and scored 48 runs at Old Trafford to help India save an innings defeat. In 1937-38 in an unofficial test series against the Lord Tennyson’s squad, he captured 36 wickets in five tests, but succumbed to pneumonia two years later.