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Colonel Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu - Indian Cricketer and Administrator



Colonel Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu (31 October 1895 – 14 November 1967) was an Indian cricketer and cricket administrator who served as the first-ever captain of the Indian national cricket team. He is widely regarded as one of India's greatest cricketers. His first-class cricket career spanned over 47 years from 1916 to 1963, a world record. Nayudu was a right-handed batsman, an accurate medium pace bowler, and a fine fielder. His ability to hit long sixes sent crowds into a frenzy and became a part of Indian cricket folklore. He was chosen as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1933. The Government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan in 1956 — the first cricketer to be conferred the honor.

Background

Family history: C. K. Nayudu's ancestors belonged to Kapu community of Machilipatnam in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh. Nayudu's great-grandfather moved from Machilipatnam to Hyderabad, where he worked as an interpreter to the Nizam of Hyderabad. Nayudu's grandfather, Cottari Narayanaswamy Nayudu, settled in Nagpur. Narayanaswamy studied law there and became a well-known lawyer in the city. He was also a landlord and an early member of the Indian National Congress.

Early life

Early life: Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu was born on 31 October 1895 in Nagpur, Central Provinces, to the Telugu-speaking Kapu family of Cottari Surya Prakash Rao Nayudu and Mahalaxmi. In 1896, at a cricket match played between soldiers and the Nayudu Club XI, Narayanaswamy distributed copper coins to mark the birth of his grandson. C. K. Nayudu was the eldest of four brothers. He was drafted into the school team at the age of seven, and showed promise for a bright future. He studied at St. Francis De'Sales High School and later joined Hislop College.