CHENNAI: Former India opener VB Chandrasekhar committed suicide at his residence in Mylapore on Thursday evening, police said. His body was found hanging from the ceiling fan in his bedroom on the first floor.
Investigating officer inspector Senthil Murugan said Chandrashekar, 57, had not left any suicide note. “Chandrasekhar’s wife told the police that she had knocked at the door of his room but there was no response. She then peeped through the window to find him hanging from the ceiling,” said inspector Murugan.
Police said Chandrasekhar’s wife Soumya told them that he had tea with the family and went to his room at 5:45 pm. “She also informed us that VB was depressed due to the losses that he had incurred in his cricket business,” Murugan said.
VB owned a Tamil Nadu Premier League team – VB Kanchi Veerans – and also ran a cricket academy VB’s Nest in Velachery. His body was sent to government Royapettah hospital for autopsy.
VB represented India in 7 ODIs and was known for his attacking batting style. Not only did he represent India at the highest level, VB was also a member of the Tamil Nadu’s Ranji Trophy winning side in 1987.
The swashbuckler also played for Goa – before donning the roles of a national selector, state coach and commentator. He was also very active with his TNPL team and was very much a part of the team set-up till their last game earlier this week. In fact, the TN cricket fraternity was in a state of shock and most didn’t know the reason of his death till late evening.
“I met him just a few days ago. He looked so fit, everything was fine, I can’t believe he is no more,” former India player and TN captain S. Badrinath, who was doing commentary for TNPL, said.
VB came into national reckoning during the Irani Trophy clash in 1988 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium when he smashed a 56-ball 100 (eventually getting out for 119) and set up Tamil Nadu’s victory against Rest of India. That innings was the fastest century scored by an Indian in first-class cricket before Rishabh Pant broke it with a 48-ball century in a Ranji clash in 2016.
“I was at the other end of the pitch and to see him tear the ROI attack apart which had bowlers like Sanjeev Sharma and Narendra Hirwani was a sight I will never forget. He was an absolute entertainer and a great friend and this is shocking news for me,” former India captain and chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth said.
In an era when pinch-hitting was an unknown idea, Srikkanth and VB used to enthrall the crowds at Chepauk with their style of cricket. “I have opened with him so many times and shared a great camaraderie with him during our commentary stints in recent years,” Srikkanth added.
After his retirement from first-class cricket, VB stayed in touch with the sport. VB was part of the India Cements family and was also the first operations director of Chennai Super Kings when it started in 2008.
“He was the one who brought me to the CSK side in 2008. He told me that I have the potential to play T20 cricket at a time when I was also not very sure about it. He had great knowledge about the game and was a constant support for anybody who needed help when it came to cricket,” Badrinath said.
Extremely sad & shocked to hear about the passing away of VB Chandrasekhar sir. His consistent efforts made it poss… https://t.co/Oeq11SZ2Y5— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) 1565886904000
Former India captain and leg spinner Anil Kumble too expressed shock. “Terrible news… VB… Too soon. Shocking! Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends,” he tweeted.
Terrible news…VB…too soon. Shocking! Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) 1565886049000