Cottari Kanakiya Nayudu, often known as C.K. Nayudu has to his credit the honor of being the first ever captain of the Indian Test Cricket team. He is also famous for being the first Cricket player of India who was bestowed with the Padma Bhushan award.
Nayudu was born in Nagpur, Maharashtra on the 31st of October 1895, and was brought up in the same city, although he was a Telugu by origin. Nayudu started playing Cricket at an early age and captained the Cricket team of Hislop Collegiate High School, Nagpur. While studying at the school itself, Nayudu was selected by the Modi Club, and eventually became its captain.
Full Name: Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu
Born: October 31, 1895, Nagpur, Maharashtra
Died: November 14, 1967, Indore, Madhya Pradesh
Major Teams: India, Andhra, Central India, Central Provinces and Berar, Hindus, Holkar, Hyderabad, United Province
Batting Style: Right-hand bat
Debut in First class Cricket:
Nayudu debuted in First class Cricket in 1916 playing for Hindus against the Europeans. In this match, he came to bat at No. 9 when the score of his team 79 runs at a loss of 7 wickets. In the match, he famously blocked the first 3 balls, and hit a 6 in the fourth one. In the year 1923, Nayudu was invited by the ruler of Holkar to Indore, wherein he was appointed a Captain in the ruler’s army.
Later, he created ripples in the year 1926-27 when he scored 153 out of just 187 balls while playing for Hindus against M.C.C. team of Arthur Gilligan, at the Bombay Gymkhana Grounds. Nayudu accomplished this score within just 116 minutes, and contributed 11 sixes to the score. One of these sixes famously landed upon the roof of the Gymkhana.
First Captain of the Indian Test Cricket Team:
Nayudu is always remembered for leading the Indian Cricket team in its first Test Cricket match that was played against England at Lord’s in the year 1932. Initially this match had to be played under the captainship of the Maharaja of Patiala, but due to some health related problems he had to drop out of the match just 2 weeks before its commencement, and Nayudu was made the captain of the team. In this match, Nayudu got his hand injured while fielding in the first innings, still managed to make the highest score of 40 runs in the innings. Nayudu also played all the 26 First class Cricket matches that were played in this tour, and scored 1,618 runs with a Batting Average of 40.45 runs. Overall, he scored 1,842 runs and grabbed 65 wickets during the whole tour.
Later on, Nayudu played 3 Test Matches against England in the year 1933-34 and 3 yet another matches against the same team in the tour of 1936. During this he scored over 1000 runs and managed to grab 51 wickets. Nayudu was blessed with a tall and well built physique, and was quite good at driving the ball as a batsman. Apart from it, he was also an accomplished fielder and slow-medium paced bowler.
The Final Moments:
Nayudu played his last Ranji Trophy Cricket match for Uttar Pradesh in the year 1956-57 at the age of 62, wherein he scored 52 runs. He died a graceful death on the 14th of November 1967 in Indore.