“He thought bowlers should be thrashed, not respected.” Former Indian cricketer, Madhav Apte, recollects the time when India’s first ever cricket captain, CK Nayudu, smashed the ball to all parts of the ground. It was truly a sight to behold.
It was on this day that Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu came into this world. It’s only fitting that a book be launched on his birthday. On Tuesday, author Aditya Bhushan launched the cover of his book titled, ‘A Colonel Destined to Lead’ at the iconic CCI (Cricket Club of India) in Mumbai.
For those of you who may not be aware, Nayudu, who is widely considered India’s first cricketing superstar, captained his nation in their very first Test match, against England at Lord’s, when he was 37 years old.
While he played only 7 Test matches, his first-class career lasted an unimaginable 47 years. Colonel Nayudu played his last match at the age of 68. His colleagues attribute this to his relentless focus on fitness at a time when nutrition and working out did not come under the spotlight.
“Nayudu was the strictest captain ever. To him, fitness mattered a lot, to such an extent that he did not allow his players to drink water during play,” said India’s 13th Test captain and former opener, Nari Contractor.
At a time when bats were much lighter, Nayudu was known for his big hitting. To put things into perspective, Sachin Tendulkar’s bat weighed more than 3 pounds while Colonel Nayudu’s bat weighed just 2lb 3 oz. Despite this, he was able to inflict massive damage on oppositions, especially fast bowlers.
Having entertained crowds during a Google-less era, author Aditya Bhushan figured diving deep into the world of CK Nayudu could turn out to be an interesting read.
As part of the research process, Aditya interviewed a number of former players like Madhav Apte and Nari Contractor. Apart from that, he also travelled to Indore, Madhya Pradesh, where Nayudu spent a considerable part of his playing days.
The book is tentatively slated for a December launch.