Sudhir Naik Wiki, Age, Death, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

Sudhir Naik (1945–2023) was an Indian cricketer who is best known for playing the Ranji Trophy for Bombay in the 70s.


Sudhir Sakharam Naik was born on Wednesday, 21 February 1945 (aged 78 at death) in Tardeo, Bombay Presidency, British India. His zodiac sign was Pisces. He studied MSc in Organic Chemistry from Ruparel College, Mumbai. When he was a child, he used to play with table tennis balls with the children of Chikkalvadi in Tardeo. Along with his friends, he also used to harass animals. When he was in 10th class, his elder brother asked him to start taking coaching under Vinoo Mankad. When he was in school, he was always studying when he was not playing cricket. He used to take his books on tours and used to study whenever he got time. He used to study at 5 in the morning and practice during the day. His first dream was not to become a cricketer but to become the boss of a company. In an interview, he said that there was no money in cricket at that time, so he also applied for an engineering degree and took admission in VJTI (Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute) in Mumbai before deciding to become a chemist. He gave up the idea of ​​becoming an engineer when former cricketer Madhav Apte told him that if he chose to become an engineer, he would not get time to play cricket.

Sudhir Naik when he was young

Sudhir Naik when he was young

Physical Appearance

Height (Approx): 5′ 9″

Hair Colour: Gray (semi-bald)

Eye colour: black

-Sudhir Nayak


parents and siblings

Not much information is available about his parents. He had nine brothers and sisters.

wife and children

Sudhir was married to Vasundhara Pendse Naik, who was a writer. He died a few years before Sudhir’s death. His daughter’s name is Radhika Deshpande who lives in Melbourne.


domestic cricket

Sudhir used to play for Mumbai cricket team. After taking admission in Bombay University, he became the captain of the team. He was also the captain of the Tata Oil Mills team where he worked. In 1967 and 1968, he was the only captain of Bombay University to win the Police Shield tournament and Mahindra Shield tournament for two consecutive years. During graduation, he was selected for Mumbai’s junior team and senior team. According to Sudhir, in 1970 only one team was allowed to play in the knock-out round. Before 1970, Bombay had won against Maharashtra after which Maharashtra proposed to the BCCI to allow two teams from each group to play in the knock-outs. The BCCI agreed to the proposal and in 1971, Maharashtra remained at No. 1 and Bombay came at No. 2 in the West Zone. In 1970–71, his performances in the match led to Bombay winning the Ranji Trophy, even when players like Sunil Gavaskar and Ajit Wadekar were not part of the team. In the 1972 Ranji season, he was not included in the playing team. Talking about this in an interview he said,

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I was given out for a knock-out. My marks were good and this was definitely unfair. This was politics played by some of our senior players. They were afraid that if Sudhir played in the knock-out, he might be selected for India and we might be out. That was dirty politics. But it is an integral part of the game.”

In the 1973–94 Ranji Trophy season, he scored 2687 runs (40.10) against Baroda. This score became the highest score of 200 not out. He scored 4376 runs with seven centuries and 27 fifties in 85 first-class matches in his domestic career.

Sudhir Naik in batting action

Sudhir Naik in batting action

international cricket

Sudhir made his ODI debut on 13 July 1974 against England at Leeds. He made his Test debut on 4 July – 8 July 1974 against England at Birmingham. In 1974, he played three Test matches and two One Day Internationals for the Indian cricket team. In 1974, he was part of India’s tour of England and was the opening batsman. He also did not play in the first and second Test matches, even though he was the highest scorer in all the tour games. In the match he played, he scored 77 runs in the second innings, but India could not win the match. His score became the highest score and he became the man of the match. In 1974, he became part of the Indian team and played the final Test at Edgbaston. He scored 730 runs (40.55) in the match. In a One Day International in England, he scored 18 runs off 29 balls, including four first-class wickets for the team.


In 1984–85, he was part of the Mumbai selection committee and worked as the chief selector and member of the managing committee. In 2005, he started working as the ground in-charge at Wankhede Cricket Stadium and looked after the wickets and outfield before matches. Before the World Cup in 2011, he had prepared the pitch for the tournament at Wankhede Cricket Ground in Mumbai. As the West Zone in-charge of BCCI’s Ground and Pitch Committee, he used to prepare the grounds and pitches of the West Zone. In 2016, he retired from the post of curator and ground in-charge of Wankhede Cricket Stadium after being criticized by Ravi Shastri for the pitch not being batsmen friendly. In an interview, he had said that he could not accept the things that Shastri had told him because he was 70 years old and had some arrogance in him.

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Sudhir Nayak as ground in-charge discussing about the pitch

Sudhir Nayak as ground in-charge discussing about the pitch


Sudhir was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai after he suffered head injuries after falling at his residence in Dadar on March 24, 2023. He died on 5 March 2023 after not being able to recover from his injury. After his demise, Zaheer Khan expressed grief over his demise and said,

A day after he was admitted to the hospital, I went and saw him. The treatment was having an effect on him. He recognized me and tried to talk to me. I had a little conversation with him. Knowing the personality I’ve seen over the years, I was expecting him to fight through it. But this was not to happen. His condition became critical on Sunday night and we were told that the next 72 hours would be very critical. While we have been hoping for his recovery, all this time, I have been remembering the countless conversations I had with him as soon as he arrived in Mumbai.

Facts/General Knowledge

  • He was a right handed batsman.
  • Apart from cricket, he also worked as an organic chemist.
  • After 1974, he did not play cricket but started coaching at his National Cricket Club, Mumbai. He trained cricketers like Zaheer Khan, Wasim Jaffer, Rajesh Pawar, Raju Sutar and Paras Mhambrey.
    Sudhir Naik with Zaheer Khan

    Sudhir Naik with Zaheer Khan

  • In 1975, he played his last Test against West Indies at Eden Gardens.
  • His students in the club used to call him James after James Bond.
  • In an interview, former Indian captain Dilip Vengsarkar said that Sudhir was a simple person.
  • In the 1970s, during his tour of England, he was falsely accused of stealing two pairs of socks in a London department store. In an interview, he had said that BCCI did not support him at all, because BCCI was not so strong at that time. He suffered a lot from this incident. In the book ‘Sunny Days’, Sunil Gavaskar talked about this incident and said that if Naik had been given a better lawyer to prove his innocence, he would not have felt insulted. However, after the incident that happened to him, he scored a half-century in a test match. Talking about this incident in an interview, former Mumbai captain Milind Rege said that Sudhir’s self-respect was so great that he used to wear torn gloves but never asked for spare gloves from anyone.
  • In another interview, Milind Rege recalled the time he spent with Sudhir and said that when he played, he used to travel to Ranji Trophy games with his kit in a taxi. They spent half the day together as they lived close to each other’s houses and practiced together. He also said that Sudhir was a great captain. In the interview he further said,

    He was extremely skilled from a strategic point of view. This was his plus point. He knew his field placements, he knew the temperament of his players. Sudhir never scolded us on the field. He never said to us, “What are you doing? Barabar se bowling nahi ho raha hai (What are you doing? You are not bowling properly)… He used to put his arm around us and was very calm and cool. In that 1970-71 final, except Vijay Bhosle and Padmakar Shivalkar, we were all young – most of us were in our early 20s. We just had raw talent and he captained the team amazingly. He was a great leader.”

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