Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu also known as C.K Nayudu – The First Indian Captain or just CK’ was a Right-hand batsman and off-break bowler of Indian Team. He is the first captain of the Indian cricket team for Test matches. CK regularly played first-class cricket till 1958 and then returned for one last time in 1963 at the age of 68. In 1923, the ruler of Holkar invited him to Indore and made him a Captain in his army for both the land and air troop.Later he was awarded the honor of a Colonel in Holkar’s Army.
C.K Nayudu – The First Indian Captain
BCCI back in 2003 instituted an award in his memory. For his marvelous batting and breathtaking fielding skill, Mushtaq Ali fondly called CK ‘a tiger on the field’. He is famous for being the first Cricket player of India who was bestowed with the Padma Bhushan award. He was also the first Indian cricketer to endorse a brand called Bathgate Liver Tonic in 1941. Let’s see some more facts about C.K Nayudu – The First Indian Captain.
Background of C.K Nayudu
C.K Nayudu- The First Indian Captain was born in Nagpur on 31st of October 1895 and fathered by Cottari Surya Prakash Rao Nayudu. His father was the son of Rai Bahadur Cottari Narayan Swamy Nayudu who is acknowledged as sixty-eight Great Men of Bharatkhand. C.K Nayudu’s grandfather was a lawyer and landlord owning several villages and sizable lands in Nagpur.Besides being a wealthy lawyer he was a pioneer member of All India National Congress party. Because of his political and social power, he was affluent enough to send both his sons to England for Higher studies. While his elder son Cottari Vekatramana Nayudu was married to the daughter of Raja Prabhakar Moorthy of Eluru and had no issue, the younger son Cottari Soorya Prakash Rao Nayudu had four sons and two daughters.
College & University Life of C.K Nayudu
He pursued his B.A. and M.A from Downing College, Cambridge University and was called to the Middle Temple Bar, in 1891. He was very famous for his physical prowess and nicknamed as Hercules in Cambridge University Campus.For some years he was Justice in High court of Holkar State and also posted as Chief justice for some time. Maharaja Shivaji Rao Holkar was the ruler in those days.The Maharajah had put on record that he had only faith in two persons. Among them, the first one is Sooya Prakash Rao followed by the first K. S. Ranjit Sinh Ji of Nawa Nagar who played for Sussex and England was contemporary of Cottari Soorya Prakash Ranaudo while at Cambridge.
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Speaking of C.K Nayudu
The First Indian Captain, He started his cricket journey in the school team at the age of seven and showed promise for a bright future as a batsman. He made his first class debut in 1916 in the Bombay Triangular. Nayudu came in to bat for the Hindus against the Europeans at No.9 with his team holding a dangerous position at 79 for 7. He gained prominence by hitting 153 which includes eleven 6’s and thirteen 4’s out of 187 deliveries in just a little over hundred minutes for Hindus against A. E. R. Gilligan’s M.C.C. team in 1926-27 at Bombay. One of the sixes, in the ball of Bob Wyatt, he landed it on the roof of the Gymkhana. The MCC presented him with a silver bat in recognition of that innings.
India made its debut in the test match at Lord’s under Col. C K Nayudu. In its first Test tour of England, the “Maharaja of Porbandar”Natwarsinhji Bhavsinhjiwas signed as the captain and Ghanshyam Sinhji of Limbdi as vice-captain. Maharaja of Porbandar was later dropped out for reasons of health and Ghanshyamsinhji took over the team just two weeks before the trip. But Ghanshyam Sinhji suffered a back injury that ruled him out of the Test and just before the start of India’s Test match debut, C.K Nayudu- The First Indian Captain was appointed as the captain of the Indian team.
Braveness of C.K Nayudu
Despite a painful hand injury received when fielding, Nayudu made the top score, 40, in the first innings of the first match where India debuted as a national cricket team. With six centuries, the highest of which was 162 from the Warwickshire bowling, he headed the batting averages for all matches with 37.59 and also took 79 wickets. He also played three tests against England in 1933-34 and three in the tour of 1936, where he again exceeded 1,000 runs and dismissed 51 batsmen in first-class fixtures.Wisden chose him as The Cricketer of the Year 1933 because Nayudu hit 32 sixes, which was the most by anyone in the season.
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CK Nayudu being the first captain of the Indian cricket team really did hit a ball crossing a river into the next county of England. Official records are there to prove while batting in a tour match at Edgbaston; he hit a six crossing the River Rea which was the boundary between Warwickshire and Worcestershire.In the 1933-34 seasons, Douglas Jardine visited India with the cricket team, and without having the full strength, MCC team competed against Punjab. A century was made on that occasion by Nayadu for the Punjab Governor’s XI and retained as the captain of the Test series. The first ever test-match played in India was held at the Bombay Gymkhana between 15 and 18 December 1933 was enjoyed by over 100,000 spectators on the field. Sadly India lost the series by two Tests.
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He continued his cricket career for six different decades. He made his last first class appearance at his 62 years of age in the Ranji Trophy back in 1956-57 where he scored 52 in his last innings of his career for Uttar Pradesh. A famous story was attached to him in 1952-53 Ranji Trophy semi finals about how he did not want players from both teams to consume water at the drinks breaks. He was so stubborn in his decision that teams thought no one other than Khandu Rangnekar, who was playing for Holkar could make him change his mind. Ultimately after several requests, he agreed about Maharashtra players could have drinks every 45 minutes in the extremely hot conditions but not his players.
Earlier in that season, he had made 84 against Rajasthan, striking Vinoo Mankad for two sixes. His final outing was in a charity match in 1963-64, when he played for the Maharashtra Governor’s XI against the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s XI. Along with Indian National Cricket Team, some of the best teams that he played for were Hindus, Madras, Hyderabad, Central Provinces and Berar, Central India, Holkar, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Indians and much more. He was also a true enthusiast of hockey and throughout in association with football. This legendary captain of India died on November 14, 1967, at Indore, Madhya Pradesh while he was 72 years 14 days aged. These were some facts about C.K Nayudu- The First Indian Captain.