CHENNAI: Former India cricketer and national selector VB Chandrasekhar passed away in Chennai on Thursday. Initially, it was learnt that he had died of a cardiac arrest but later the news that he committed suicide came as a bigger shock.
Popularly called VB, Chandrasekhar opened the batting for the Indian team in seven ODIs from 1988-90. He tallied 88 runs with a highest score of 53. Later, he became a national selector and was on the panel when Greg Chappell was the India coach. He was also a popular commentator in domestic cricket, liked for his witty remarks and knowledge of the game.
VB's death came as a shock to the cricket fraternity. Krishnamachari Srikkanth, WV Raman, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Suresh Raina and a number of cricketers expressed grief, saying that this was a big loss for cricket.
"I am shocked to hear the news. Cannot believe it. He was an outstanding cricketer and a good human being. I am sad to have lost a good friend. He also did a good job as a selector. He had also been promoting the game by running an academy,'' said Srikkanth.
Former India cricketer and current coach of the national women's team, WV Raman could not believe that his friend was no more. "I am at a loss for words. It's a shocking news. I can't believe he is no more. My mind goes back to the times we spent together from our younger days. He was a lovable guy. I remember playing a game of chess with him at 3 am. He was health-conscious and god-fearing. It will take a long time for me to get over the loss of my dear friend."
After retiring from the game, VB started his academy at Gurunanak College in Chennai and was the first former player to bid for a team in the Tamil Nadu Premier League. The team is called VB Kanchi Veerans. VB was known more for scoring what was then the fastest hundred in the Irani Cup. He was also a member of the Tamil Nadu team that won the Ranji Trophy in 1988.
"It is a big loss for the fraternity. He was a man with a vision and a good thinker of the game. He contributed a lot in our Ranji win in 1988. Plus, all of us remember the way he played in that Irani game. A big loss,'' said M Senthilnathan, who was a member of that Ranji winning team.
Former Tamil Nadu captain S Vasudevan acknowledged that VB had one of the sharpest cricketing brains. "He was a brilliant cricketer, coach and a thinker of the game. He contributed to our win in the Ranji Trophy. His demise is a big loss."
VB was manager of the Chennai Super Kings for the first three years and he was the one who played a big role in setting up the team and bidding for MS Dhoni. The body was taken by the local police for post-mortem.