CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu and India’s cricket fraternity were in for a shock on Thursday. Early in the evening news broke that former opener and national selector V B Chandrasekhar had died of cardiac arrest. Later in the evening, police said he had committed suicide by hanging himself. The body was taken in custody for post-mortem.
Known popularly as VB, Chandrasekhar was five days short of his 58th birthday. He is survived by his wife and two daughters. A dashing opening batsman, he played seven ODIs from 1988-90. After retirement, he wore the different hats of selector, coach and commentator. He also owned the Tamil Nadu Premier League franchise VB Kanchi Veerans.
According to police sources, he was last seen having tea with his wife at his residence around 5.45 pm. After that, he went to his room. As he did not come out even after two hours, his wife knocked on the door and found no response. She informed neighbours and after breaking the door open, they apparently found him hanging from the ceiling. The Mylapore Police Station has filed a case of suspicious death.
Cricketers from across the country paid tribute to the member of the 1988 Ranji Trophy-winning Tamil Nadu team, who was a popular figure. Among those who expressed grief were K Srikkanth, Anil Kumble, WV Raman, Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina.
"I am at a loss for words. It is very shocking. I cannot believe he is no more. My mind goes back to the times we spent together from our younger days. He was a lovable guy, health-conscious and god-fearing. It will take a long time for me to get over the loss of a dear friend,'' said Raman.
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India and Chennai Super Kings player Suresh Raina condoled the death of Chandrasekhar.
"Extremely sad & shocked to hear about the passing away of VB Chandrasekhar sir. His consistent efforts made it possible to set the right foundation of the CSK team. He always encouraged & believed in us since very beginning. My deepest condolences to the family," Raina tweeted.
India and CSK off-spinner Harbhajan Singh also expressed his sadness.
"Very shocking to hear VB Chandrashekhar Indian cricketer is no more. very sad news. very young to go. rest in peace VB. Big lose (sic). condolences to the family," Harbhajan wrote on his twitter handle.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra expressed shock at Chandrasekhar's death.
"Shocked to hear about the untimely demise of V B Chandrasekhar. Was only 57. Went away too soon. Thoughts with the family. heartfelt condolences. R.I.P.," he tweeted.
( If in distress or having suicidal thoughts, call 104 for the Tamil Nadu government health department’s helpline that offers counselling or 044- 24640050 for the Sneha suicide helpline.
Click here for a list of suicide prevention helplines across India)
(with PTI inputs)