“She was very popular in the cricketing circles."
Chandra Nayudu, India’s first-ever female cricket commentator, has passed away at the age of 88.
Her nephew confirmed her death, which occurred at her residence on Sunday, April 4, 2021.
According to him, Nayudu died following a battle with a prolonged illness.
Chandra Nayudu was the daughter of CK Nayudu, legendary cricketer and the first captain of the Indian cricket team in Test matches.
He also led the team in their cricket debut at Lord’s in 1932.
As well as being a retired English professor, Chandra Nayudu is best remembered for her cricket commentaries in the 1970s.
As the daughter of a cricket legend, Nayudu had a long association with the sport. She played domestic cricket in her childhood before commentating on professional games.
She was also a life member of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA).
Tributes have been coming in for the late female commentator since the news of her passing broke.
MPCA President Abhilash Khandekar said:
“She was very popular in the cricketing circles.
“Back in my early days as a sports journalist, I had met her many times and had discussions over the game.
“I vividly remember that in 1975 when there were very few female cricketers, she was the commentator for the Rani Jhansi Woman Cricket Tournament held at Daly college.”
Chandra Nayudu’s first commentary gig was during a match between Mumbai and MCC in Indore in 1977.
She also addressed a gathering at the Golden Jubilee Test between India and England at Lord’s in 1982.
Chandra Nayudu worked to popularise women’s cricket in Madhya Pradesh. She started the annual inter-university cricket tournament in 1971.
Her last posting was as a principal in 1990 at the Government Girls PG College at Kila Maidan in Indore.
However, she spent her final years alone at her residence at Manorma Ganj. She had few visitors, including colleagues from the PG college and her nephew.
Speaking to Times of India about his aunt’s passing, former international arm wrestler Pratap Nayudu said:
“She had not been keeping well for past a year and was mostly at home.”
“She was a very good English teacher and had a love for cricket since early days because her father and brother were known cricketers of their times.
“My aunt also played cricket for a short span in the 1980s.
“It was not an easy thing to do because it was completely a male-dominated game.
“Unlike now, there were negligible female cricketers at that time.”
Chandra Nayudu’s last rites were performed in the presence of family and close friends at 4 pm on Sunday, April 4, 2021.