Chandra Nayudu
Chandra Nayudu

New Delhi/Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Chandra Nayudu, considered to be the first Indian woman cricket commentator and one who did a lot to promote Indian women's cricket when it was in its infancy, died at her Indore residence on Sunday. She was 88.

Chandra, who had retired as professor of English in Girls' Degree College in Indore, was the daughter of India's first Test captain Col C.K. Nayudu and used to commentate for All India Radio. Former Madhya Pradesh cricketer Sanjay Jagdale, who also served as the secretary of BCCI and was a national selector, recalled her as an early driving force behind women's cricket.

Jagdale's family was very well acquainted with the Nayudu family. His father, Madhavsinh Jagdale was picked in the Holkars team by Chandra's father, Col CK Nayudu. In addition, Chandra's elder sister was Jagdale's teacher too.

"She used to commentate in Ranji Trophy matches for All India Radio in the 1970s and 80s when we used to play. When women's cricket started back then, she used to take a lot of interest in it. There was very little women's cricket happening then. There weren't many teams. She used to encourage a lot of players," recalled Jagdale while speaking to IANS.

Former India women's team captain Diana Edulji, who met her back in the 1970s said she was very knowledgeable about the game. "I met her in the early 1970s when we had gone to play a women's national tournament in Indore. I found her to be very fond of cricket, especially women's cricket. She used to come and meet us and be with us (even though women never played at the main stadium).

She had great knowledge of the game even in those days," Edulji told IANS. "In those days, in the 1970s, to have that much knowledge - even we as players, we didn't have that much knowledge. We were just playing the game. We rarely realised what was happening around the world. That was her baby because she came from a cricketing family. She saw it upfront. It is a loss," added Edulji.

Chandra was the youngest of the three daughters of Col CK Nayudu from his first wife. Since she had no children as she never married, her final rites were performed by her nephew.

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