Former India opener VB Chandrasekhar dies aged 57

VB Chandrasekhar, the former Tamil Nadu and India batsman, died in Chennai on Thursday. He was six days short of his 58th birthday. A TNCA official told ESPNcricinfo that he had died of a heart attack.

A hard-hitting opening batsman, Chandrasekhar was a key member of the Tamil Nadu team that won the state’s second Ranji Trophy title in 1987-88, scoring 160 in the quarter-final against Uttar Pradesh and 89 in the final against Railways. He followed that up with a 56-ball fourth-innings century in the Irani Trophy against Rest of India, at the time the fastest hundred in first-class cricket by an Indian.

Those performances earned Chandrasekhar a place in India’s limited-overs squad. His international career lasted just seven ODIs, though, in which he averaged 12.57 and he made one half-century, a 77-ball 53 against New Zealand in a 53-run win in Indore.

Following a first-class career that brought him 4999 runs at 43.09, Chandrasekhar served stints as the South Zone representative in the national selection panel from 2004 to 2006, a time of considerable churn in Indian cricket with John Wright’s exit and Greg Chappell’s hiring as the national coach. He was also cricket manager of Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, and made the winning bid of USD 1.5 million for MS Dhoni in the inaugural IPL auction. He served as Tamil Nadu’s coach in 2012-13. He was also noted for his sharp wit as a TV commentator.

His demise was mourned by players and administrators.

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