October 31, 1895: A Big Day For Cricket

October 31 could rank as one of the most memorable days for Indian cricket!

India’s first Test captain Colonel CK Nayudu was born on October 31, 1895 in Nagpur.

Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu, India’s first cricket superstar, captained the country in their first Test against England at Lord’s on June 25, 1932. He played seven Tests for India, while scoring 11,825 runs in 207 first class games, with 26 centuries and 58 fifties.

Interestingly, Nayudu was not even among the contenders to captain the Indian team for the England tour in 1932, as the royals threw their hats in the ring.

The maharaja of Patiala and the maharajkumar of Vizianagaram were the powers-that-be in Indian cricket and the choice had to be between them. In typical fashion, Patiala was appointed captain and the prince of Limbdi (a Patiala loyalite) was ‘deputy captain’ while Vizzy had to be content with ‘deputy vice-captain’!

Patiala withdrew at the last minute — being busy with affairs of state — and the maharaja of Porbander was appointed skipper.

Porbander relinquished captaincy on the English tour and it was passed on to Limbdi, who, as luck would have, it injured his back on the eve of the first Test.

The captaincy was finally passed down to the man who deserved it most, Nayudu.

‘Remembering Colonel CK Nayudu – India’s first Test captain – on his birth anniversary,’ BCCI tweeted.

Another Indian player created history on this day.

Pacer Chetan Sharma bagged the first ever hat-trick in the history of the 50-overs World Cups, when he achieved the feat against New Zealand in Nagpur in the 1987 World Cup.

Sharma, India’s current chairman of selectors, picked up the wickets of Ken Rutherford, Ian Smith and Ewen Chatfield, getting all of them bowled.

But the man of the match award went to Sunil Gavaskar, who stroked his first and only century in ODIs, 103 not out from 88 balls, to guide India to a nine-wicket victory.

‘#OnThisDay in 1987! @chetans1987 created history after registering the first hat-trick in the World Cup. He achieved this landmark feat against New Zealand in Nagpur,’ BCCI noted.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni also has a special memory on October 31st, having smashed his way to his highest score in ODIs.

He had hammered a career-best 183 not out from 158 balls, laced with 15 fours and 10 sixes, as India chased down a huge 299 for victory to win the third ODI against Sri Lanka by six wickets in Jaipur in 2005.

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