Dinshaw, Pak’s lone Parsi cricketer, dies in penury

Rusi Dinshaw, the only Parsi to have ever been selected in a Pakistan Test squad, passed away on Monday, and his death has brought into focus the failure of the PCB to look after its former players.

Dinshaw, an 86 year-old man in need of proper care and support, was suffering from schizophrenia.

Dinshaw a stylish left-handed batsman and left arm spinner who was a member of the Pakistan Test squad that first toured India in 1952-53 was reduced to begging at the Karachi Parsi Institute and at some traffic lights in the city before his death.

“It is very sad to hear about the plight of Rusi Dinshaw because while he may not have actually played a Test match but he had the honour of being in Pakistan’s first Test squad and is an important part of Pakistan cricket’s history,” former Test captain Aamir Sohail said.

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  • It is so sad to read about the plight of an accomplished Parsi cricketer on the same page as all the so called ……Associations of ‘this –that & the other’ and their lofty agendas, which are far removed from the plight plaguing our small community.

    It is a shame, what happened to this particular Parsi, ex-Test crickter, of Pakistan.

    So why was his condition not brought to light when he was and am saddened/depressed to use the word ‘begging’ for Rs. 5 & 10 and that too among Parsis of Karachi????

    All I can say is that it is a shame for all the Parsis and specially the so called benevolent ‘associations’.

    What about the Parsis of Karachi??? Have they no shame???

    Wonder what the XVII North American Congress in L.A. is going to discuss on 29-Dec-2014, when as is written hundreds will come,presumably by flight, spending good $s to attend, to discuss “FAITH & UNITY”
    What ‘UNITY’ may I ask????when there are quite a few brethren, in our minuscule community needing to beg for Rs. 5 & 10/- which is ONLY AROUND $0.10cents to $0.20cents.
    All this makes me sick.
    What we all need to do —- is a realty check on what our faith is truly about and then lay out a correct path to follow.


    • I agree with you. Our benevolent associations have been mostly converted to serve cosmopolitan purposes and they only cater to requirements of Hindu poor whereas our people are ignored. Some of our big industrialists have a hand in this. Ashamed to be a Parsi where inspite of having good sources many of our people die of penury where our associations take care of Hindus.

  • Actually, the article published in the newspaper and reproduced on this Parsi website – without checking the facts – is inaccurate. It has probably caused much grief to the family of the deceased and to his community, so soon after the passing away of someone who was very popular in his heyday in the Parsi community of Karachi.

    The article is not only full of half-truths, it has been used to sensationalise the story so that so many Parsis all over the world have been shocked and dismayed. Even non-Parsis have written to me to say they can’t believe this could happen. They are right to disbelieve the story. The truth is very different.

    The fact is that Rusi Dinshaw comes from a well-established and prosperous Parsi family of Karachi. He suffered from Schizophrenia and was looked after by his close family. He did not lack money. However, as is sometimes the case with people in his vulnerable condition, he refused help and, when suffering an episode of unwellness, would neglect basic hygiene.

    Further, he would beg, mainly at the Parsi gymkhana where everyone knew him well and knew that, though he didn’t need the money he was comforted if they gave him small amounts. So they did. I assume it must have been kinder, more humane even, to let him be himself, if he was not a danger to the public, rather than to lock him up to suit other people’s sensitivities.

    [This point about ‘having to beg’ has been picked up by Pakistani cricketers who, not knowing the facts in Rusi’s case, have used it to whip the Pakistan Cricket Board for not making proper financial provision for cricketers after their retirement.]

    Rusi’s friends have written affectionately about him in the community’s circulars. His niece has a page on her Facebook where she says, very movingly, that this sorry episode should be used to educate people about schizophrenia. There should be no stigma attached to mental illness and we should take the time to educate ourselves about it so that we could be of help rather than be a hindrance.

    When Rusi became too frail to resist help, he stayed during the last 5 years of his life at the Parsi General Hospital, where he was allocated a personal carer and was visited regularly by close family.

    The Parsis of Karachi are a proud and caring community where a helping hand is always there for anyone who needs it.

    • Such a relief to know that the facts were far removed from that printed in the article.
      Kudos to the Parsi community of Karachi to have kept him within familiar surroundings, humouring him and keeping him pacified simultaneously instead of allowing him to loiter aimlessly, considering his condition.
      Glad to know that — outburst regarding Karachi Parsis was misplaced and erroneous to say the least.

    • Wish what you state is correct, because even in Mumbai, I have seen such justifications for abandonment of poor Parsis because most of our charity associations are only catering to Hindus and totally ignoring the needs of the community for whom they were created.

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