C.K. Nayudu

By Vinay Yadav - Posted on January 19, 2009

Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu

Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu CK Nayadu.ogg pronunciation (help·info) (31 October 1895 in Nagpur, India – 14 November 1967, Indore, India) was India's first Test captain.

A solid batsman, Nayudu was known for his ability as a hard hitter of the ball. He was the first cricketer to be honoured with the Padma Bhushan.

C.K. Nayudu
Batting style :Right-hand bat (RHB)
Bowling type :Right-arm slow medium
Tests :First-class
Matches :7 207
Runs scored :350 11,825
Batting average :25.00 35.94
100s/50s :0/2 26/58
Top score :81 200
Balls bowled :858 25,798
Wickets :9 411
Bowling average :42.88 29.28
5 wickets in innings : - 12
10 wickets in match :- 2
Best bowling :3/40 7/44
Catches/stumpings :4 170/1

Early career

Nayudu originaly spoke Telugu, but he grew up in Nagpur and played almost all his cricket in the central India, showing promise as a schoolboy cricketer.

He made his first class debut in 1916. For the Hindus against the Europeans, he came in to bat at No.9 with his team at 79 for 7. He blocked his first three balls and hit the fourth for six. He played first-class cricket regularly till 1958, and 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.

Arthur Gilligan lead the first MCC tour to India in the 1926-27 season. For the Hindus at Bombay Gymkhana, Nayudu hit 153 in 116 minutes with 11 sixes. One of the sixes, off Bob Wyatt, landed on the roof of the Gymkhana.


India made its first Test tour of England in 1932 with the Maharaja of Patiala as captain and Ghanshyamsinhji of Limbdi as vice-captain. Two weeks before the trip, Patiala dropped out on reasons of health and the Maharaja of Porbandar took over. Nayudu took part in all twenty six of the first-class matches on the tour, scoring 1,618 runs at an average of 40.45 in the first-class matches and 1,842 overall, and taking 65 wickets. Wisden chose him as a Cricketer of the Year the next year. Mayudu hit 32 sixes, which was the most by anyone in the season. Playing at Edgbaston, he hit a ball into the River Rhea and thus into the next county.

Just before the start of India's inaugural Test, Nayudu was appointed captain of the Indian team as Limbdi suffered a back injury that ruled him out of the Test. However, India lost the test match despite a good start.

In the 1933-34 season, Douglas Jardine visited India with a formidable, though not full strength, MCC team. For Punjab Governor's XI, Nayudu scored a hundred. He was retained as the captain of the Test series. The first ever Test in India, held at the Bombay Gymkhana between December 15 and 18, was watched by over 100,000 spectators. India lost the series by two Tests to nil.

Six decades in cricket
He is one of the few cricketers to have played the first class game in six different decades. He made his last appearance in the Ranji Trophy in 1956-57, aged 62, scoring 52 in his last innings for Uttar Pradesh. Earlier in the 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.