CK Nayudu was the first captain of Indian cricket team in tests. He was appointed in 1932 to lead the Indian side against England.
25 July 1932; it was on that day, India played test cricket for the first time. It was on Lord's ground, England against the English team. In that match the player who led India was a former soldier; Colonel Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu or CK Nayudu; the first ever Indian Cricket capitain.
Nayudu's family had migrated from Andhra Pradesh to Nagpur. He was born in 1895. He started to play cricket in childhood and it flourished in the school years. He also served in Indore Army after schooling.
Nayudu made his debut in first class cricket in 1916.
In a few years, he became popular as a good player. He showcased impressive performance in the Indian tour of MCC (Marylbone Cricket Club) and the following Bombay Quadrangular and Pentangular tournaments.
The entry of India to international cricket was the subject of discussions in the early 1930s. It was the Maharaja of Patiala who was selected as the first captain of the team. But due to some reasons related to with governance of his dominion, he withdrew. Then the selectors decided to make Vijay Anand, the erstwhile prince of Vijayanagar, the skipper. But he also withdrew citing some personal problems. Then two other persons were approaced. They were Gyan Shyam Singhji and the Prince of Limbdi. They also rejected the position. It was only then, the responsibility came to Nayudu.
Until then, the prominent persons in Indian cricket were the members of royal families. Nayudu's appointment ruffled many and even some team members expressed their disagreement. But, the Maharaja of Patiala, who held a major influence in politics and cricket, intervened and solved the problems.
India was thrashed in the Lord's test. It wasn't easy to fight the experienced English side. Nayudu was injured in the game but he scored 40 runs. He led India only in 3 more games, earning a draw and conceding 2 defeats.
Nayudu doesn't have big achievements in Test Cricket. He has scored 350 runs and taken 9 wickets in 7 matches. However, he has a commendable record in first class cricket, scoring more than 10,000 runs and taking 411 wickets from 207 matches. He played cricket till 1958.
In 1956, Nayudu was honored with the Padma Bhushan by the country. Later BCCI instituted CK Nayudu Award, which is one of the coveted prizes in the sport now.
His brother, CS Nayudu, has also played for India. They are the first siblings to play for the country. Nayudu was a gentleman on and off the field. He earned respect from everyone he met and many cricketers have referred to him as their role model, including Mushtaq Ali. In 1967, CK Nayudu left the world.
As we are already into the second Grand Slam (French Open) of the year and the third one (Wimbledon) is not so far, let us review the mid year performance and progression of India's top ranked singles players. All these players have already spent years on ATP circuit and gained good enough experiences at the highest level of the sport.
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