Cricket, It’s been more than a religion and biggest competition in India( trust me more than CIVIL Services exam). Ranji trophy is the most elite part of this Religion. Although nowadays IPL has been seen as the biggest stage, for test cricket Ranji trophy is a place where every legend began their game. It humbles you as a man and as a cricketer. You learn to live with the team, you learn to play like a team, you learn to play for the team. Yes, you learn. Let’s go more about Ranji trophy.
‘Ranji Trophy’ – History and Reason Behind the Name
Ranji has been around for over 83 years. Back then, This competition was launched as “The Cricket Championship of India” following a meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India in July 1934. The first fixtures of this legendary trophy taken place in 1934–35.
The trophy was donated by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala. The first match of the competition was held on 4 November 1934 between Madras and Mysore at Chepauk. M. J. Gopalan of Madras bowled the first ball to N. Curtis.
The first Ranji Trophy Championship was won by Bombay as they took over North India in the final. Mumbai (formerly Bombay) have won the tournament the most number of times with 41 wins including 15 back-to-back wins from 1958–59 to 1972–73. Currently, 28 teams play in this trophy trying to win the grand prize whereas the players with special performance are selected for the National team.
Wait a minute, Did anyone seen that back then its name was actually different. Well yes, The Cricket Championship of India. Then how it came to Ranji trophy?
Well, Its name has changed and dedicated to a special player of India( Sachin? Sunil? Kapil?).Well, the BCCI has named the tournament in honor of Ranjitsinhji GSCI (Grand Commander Star of India) GBE (Grand Cross of the British Empire). Their full name was Jam Saheb Shri Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar or Ranji (Impressive titles, right?).
Wait, Did anyone see this player playing before? Unfortunately, they played in none tv era. He reigned from 1907 until his death in 1933. But this isn’t about politics or his rule. This is about cricket. Since none of us saw him bat, we have to rely on history to tell us.
Some tell stories about their playing. The famous English writer and critic, Neville Cardus, once called Ranji – “the Midsummer night’s dream of cricket”. The man was particularly impressed by Ranji and was full of praise. He also went on to say that before Ranji, cricket was English through and through, but after he started playing “a strange light from the East flickered in the English sunshine”.
He also said “English sunshine” because Ranji played for England, not India. That’s because Test status was given to India only in 1932. A year from Ranji’s death.
In his prime region, Ranji is said to have been very innovative. In fact, some say he invented the leg glance. Or at least popularised it. Unorthodox and stylish( Notice that Unorthodox, first from India). he has been termed as one of the greatest to ever play the game.
So, A trophy after legend name results in legend makings. I guess that’s pretty legendary. Ranji holds so much record in itself and ensures that India cricketing future is in safest hand.