The Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) marked the 128th birth anniversary of India’s legendary cricketer Col. C. K. Nayudu by garlanding his bronze bust at its Civil Lines stadium complex on Tuesday (October 31, 2023).
VCA President, Justice Vinay M. Deshpande (Retd), led the way by paying floral tributes to India’s first Test captain, who was born on this day in 1895. He was joined by Guest of Honour Group Captain Dinkar (‘Dinu’) Deshpande, a former Vidarbha player who played against C. K. Nayudu.
Other VCA office-bearers --- Hon. Vice-President Dr Avinash Deshmukh, Hon. Secretary Mr Sanjay Badkas, Hon. Joint-Secretary Mr Chandrakant Manke and Hon. Treasurer CA. Arjun Phatak also joined the President in paying homage to the Nagpur-born legend.
Recalling his association with C. K. Nayudu, ‘Dinu’ Deshpande said: “I played against him in the Ranji Trophy when he was nearing the end of his long career. Even at that stage, the great man was fiercely competitive on the ground. His brand of aggressive batting rubbed off on juniors like us, who grew up idolizing him.”
Speaking on the occasion VCA President, Mr Vinay Deshpande recalled C. K. Nayudu’s exploits with the bat, and hailed him as a national hero who inspired several generations of cricketers to take up the sport.
Mr Deshpande said he was thrilled to note that the cricket legend had featured in several first-class matches at the Civil Lines ground from 1919 to 1945, the record of which has been duly preserved by the VCA. Known for his penchant for big-hitting, Mr Deshpande recalled that Nayudu always maintained that ‘batting is a craft’.
In the course of his first-class career, spanning over four decades, Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu amassed 11,825 runs in 207 matches, hitting 26 centuries.
Popularly known as ‘Colonel’ or ‘CK’, Nayudu was 36 years old when he led the Indian team in its maiden Test match against England at Lord’s in 1932 after the BCCI was accorded Test status by the world governing body.
Col. C. K. Nayudu was the first Indian cricketer to be conferred the Padma Bhushan in 1956. The BCCI, which named its U-25 (now U-23) domestic tournament as the C. K. Nayudu Trophy in 1974, annually confers the prestigious C. K. Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award to individual players for their unparalleled contribution to Indian cricket.