Monday, December 29, 2008

Competition Thrives in Ranji Trophy

Posted by Soulberry

Ranji Trophy Super League 2008-09 - 4th quarter final, Tamil Nadu v Bengal


With the media emphasis gradually shifting in India to international fixtures, it was natural for domestic cricket to gradually slip out of consciousness of Indians. Unlike the County Cricket system, there isn't any provision for lay public to become members of their home team or subscribe to their state team, in return for tickets at concessional rates or preference, on an annual basis. Thus, involvement and loyalties are casualties. Also, it is often human tendency to imagine that what doesn't figure in one's consciousness cannot be of good quality.

Ranji Trophy matches have acquired the image of mediocrity and lack of competitiveness for perhaps this reason. However, it isn't all that way. Ever since the Super League and Plate system has come in, more matches have been keenly contested than ever before. Gone are the days when first innings leads satisfied players and supporters - now, it is difficult to digest anything less than a win unless it is a hard-fought draw. It is possible that the willingness of the BCCI to expose a larger pool of players to international cricket may also be an incentive besides the spin offs of IPL and improved pay/reward structure for good performances.

This quarter-final match showed how teams are willing to compete till the final ball.

At the end of day one, as we noted earlier,Return to.. bengal were working their way out of strife on the back of Manoj Tiwary's innings. They weren't out of the woods yet, neither were they as deep in it.

Day Two

The fall of Tiwary in the seventh over of the morning, to a clever piece of bowling by Balaji, undid Bengal's ambition of batting Tamil Nadu out of the match. After that it was a collapse and Bengal had just about enough on the board to give it an honest shot. Bengal hinges on Tiwary and to an extent, Saha.

Boy, and did they give a shot! M Vijay plays from a tall stance and likes to take the ball on the rise. If the feet move well, it looks great, otherwise it can be perilious. Without wasting much time, the canny Ranadeb Bose decided to check out the new India bat's footwork. It was found wanting and as is usual in such situations, the end result looks very lame.

Vijay has an Utthappa-ish game. However, he appeared more compact and selective than Robin in the test match innings he played. But these are all batsmen who belong to the new emerging cult of Sehwaggian openers without the body dynamics, spatial distribution and relative interactivity of their joint positions, and the weight transfer protocols of their prototype engine.

One spends some time on Vijay because he is considered a prospect for the country. These rough edges will have to be addressed by him. As matters turned out it is the same fallacy which prevented him from actualizing a century in the winning sprint later. More of that in a timely manner.

Within no time, Tamil Nadu were in trouble. Badri didn't look in it at all. Mukund was shaping up well but gave it away in a silly run-out.

Even experienced campaigners like KD playes flashily when a little bit of caution would have paid dividends. Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan did nothing to dispell the air of casualness about him. Towards the end of the day, KD went for his shots and spooned one behind him off the back of the bat trying to sweep and was done in by a beautiful catch. Somehow one felt that sweep could have waitied and KD appeared interested to get to his 50 before close.

When TN finished at 188/5, they had perhaps given away their advantage.

Third Day

Bengal stole off with the sessions. Only Suresh Kumar, an all rounder, remained between Bengal and the crucial lead. When Kumar fell to a Tiwary googly at 75, an inside edge taken, it looked like that lead could be decisively big in favour of Bengal. The tigers were right on top.

Balaji has given us some moments to smile about in the past. This day, he decided to bring the bat with which he clouted Shoaib Akhtar. But didn't he break that one? The body of it yes, the spirit being intact.

It was he with typical late-order batting falvour foisted Tamil Nadu back into the game with just an outside chance dependent on their future efforts. A small lead and time on hand.

The Match Turns

Bengal batting has been shaky and completely dependent upon Tiwary and Saha to an extent. The Jimmy Amarnath coached team of Tamil Nadu came out with the fighting spirit they have displayed this season. The first wicket was in the bag in no time at all, Ganapathy pocketing Chowdhury for nought.

Manoj Tiwary came in...a completely changed batting order (could this have upset the rhythm of Bengal?) which saw all the big guns come at the top (Saha opening)...Bengal appeared to have wrested back the momentum in their favour. Then Balaji got into his act. He picked his first of the innings in removing the threatening Saha.

R Ashwin chipped in with the most decisive wicket of all. He tempted Tiwary to sweep ( a shot which felled a few luminaries in this match) and the spliced loop was no trouble at all for Suresh Kumar. Gone for 42 and I felt then that Bengal had thrown it away.

Laxmi Shukla has lasted out the years but he isn't the kind you would readily bank upon for a match saving innings. he didn't look it but he gutsed it out to somehow keep Bengal in the game only four wickets down at close.

All the best players were expended at the top and Bengal were only a couple of wickets away from disaster. The day closed on the hunter, who now spent the night worrying as the hunted despite the lead.

Balaji Day

My good friend and fellow Ranji Chronicler, N Balajhi advised caution to my enthusiasm on seeing L Balaji swing it both ways. He was correct of course...the speed was off and all that stuff which makes you less effective on the international stage...but he was lethal today. It was as if he had a magic wand to the ball as he sliced through the Bengal order to end up with six dangerous wickets. dangerous because they tempt you to call him up for national attention. I am tempted to ignore my friend's good advice and call for more of Balaji!

Anyway, the gist of the story is the ball moved out, the ball moved in, the batsmen didn't have a clue. Not since Irfan Pathan lost it have we seen consistent swing like Balaji showed us.

Tamil Nadu won the match (and qualified for the semis in dramatic fashion) which at many times belonged to one or the other.

At the start of the season, when TN began brightly, we felt this could be a good year for them.

I am not so sure that they can dent Bombay with moments of looseness slipping into their game as it did in this match. Bombay is playing some good solid cricket.

One question, what about YoMa? Where's he?

- - -

Competition thrives in the Ranji circuit for sure. We saw it in the above match and we haven't yet touched upn Cheteshwar Pujara and Saurashtra doing a David to the Karnataka Goliath. That's because it wasn't telecast during the day. There will obviously be a separate article on that match and Pujara Power.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Domestic Cricket Returns to the Screen

Posted by Soulberry

Bengal vs Tamil Nadu


Yesterday, I had a bit of time since noon and I took a chance with Neo Television. Running the risk of being straddled with the umpteenth replay of some past match for the effort, one was pleasantly surprised to see the "Live" tag in the right top corner of the screen. "Hold on there" one thought, "India can't be playing unless one has missed something!"

Sure enough, one was rewarded within the minute for the patience and risk; the band appeared at the bottom of the screen proclaiming the title of the match - Bengal v Tamil Nadu - and Manoj Tiwary (I haven't given up on him like the selectors) at the crease with Wriddhiman Saha. Live Ranji action was back on television! Thanks had given up hope and something's surely better than nothing.

Keeping Riches

India is not limited to Mahendra Singh Dhoni for a wicketkeeper batsman. It has every possible combination available for the wicketkeeper-batsman's slot. If Dhoni is now a combination of passable 'keeper, improving test batsman and divine skipper, then there is KD Karthik who is a much better test batsman and a determined keeper. Then there is the evergreen Parthiv Patel, perhaps as good a batsman as KD Karthik, comparable with Dhoni in the shorter game, unfortunately perhaps a stagnated gloveman.

Shreevats Goswami is a combination of youth and promise. An attacking age-group opener and an agile keeper, this lad will be on the radar in the times ahead.

But the man who has really forced himself into public consciousness with his self-belief is Wriddhiman Saha of Bengal. Here is a batsman who is probably the best of the lot. Well, KD Karthik could be a nose ahead in the longer game stakes, but is probably the best gloveman in the country at the moment.

He comes one-down for Bengal which not only is good for the lad and must continue, but also reveals the esteem in which his team holds his batsmanship. And Bengal is no mean team in the Ranji circuit.

I settled back to watch him and one of my favorite young players, Manoj Tiwary, play.

Saha disappointed me with just a fifty even though it was in the manner I have come to expect of him. A short treat yesterday and hopefully it shall be a full course meal tomorrow to push the boys around a bit. Maybe more if he can plough through the unfortunate times for Indian 'keepers who must wait fo Dhoni to hang up his gloves.

The Forgotten Debutant

Manoj Tiwary played a gem. In fact he is still playing it. He hasn't had a great time of it since his shoulder injury did him in on the brink of a test debut in the India nets back in 2007.

Following his surgery, it has been a gradual process of recovery.

Ever since I saw him play two seasons ago (before Pujara) I felt this man must play for India in future. Perhaps as a replacement for Dravid when that time comes. He had his opportunity much sooner; in fact, soon after India's disastrous World Cup 2007. His enthusiasm during the fielding drills resulted in a fall which upset his shoulder and the rest, as they say, is history. Manoj Tiwary became history as well.

The current domestic season hasn't been too kind to him either; the requisite volume of runs were simply not there even if the averages were reasonably good. And he had just two hundreds with a top score of 109 in a season where multiple triple centuries aren't enough to get you a national call-up ( Cheteshwar Pujara). So it is in this background that the forgotten miss-debutant played this innings against the raging fashion of this season's Ranji - Tamil Nadu.

Anyone who saw him play yesterday would have been delighted - by the way he stepped forward and leaned over the ball and clipped it neatly off his toes to the mid-wicket boundary. Or with the languid precision with which he leaned back just enough, on his toes, to square cut the rising ball which perforated the space between two fielders and ended up at the point boundary. And did you see that forward defence? So correct that you could take a photograph of it if you could and post it as an example for learners and regulars alike. You mind told you he should be playing with the big boys, your head shook side-to-side suggesting that'll probably not happen anytime soon, and your heart screamed out for the lad, raging against the bad luck which dogged him at the threshold.

Yesterday's innings bore the hallmark of Manoj Tiwary - it was unmistakably his - watch out for more today as the man wants to make it a really big one this time. He had that look in his eyes and his body spoke such a language.

134 not out is where he will begin today. Pleasing as his game was yesterday, I urge connosuiers to watch him play today if they missed yesterday. Let's not forget this young man - he and Pujara are the two who must be the first replacements/inductees in the senior team.


He still swings the ball both ways. India could use that. The pace is a bit off though and he has no wickets to show yet. Tamil Nadu would be hoping he can address that situation today.

There is plenty to look forward to in this match. The in-form TN batsmen are yet to play. And can one forget D Chakrabarty's innings yesterday? makes you wonder if the batsmen are really getting better at the domestic level or are the bowlers becoming poorer?

Bengal are still in strife - someone will have to stay long enough with Manoj Tiwary to set up a challenge to the Tamil Nadu cavaliers.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ranji super league points & top performers as of today

Posted by Balajhi Narayanasami

Points table after the second round matches of Ranji Trophy Super League 2008

Group A
Team Mat Won Lost Tied Draw Aban Pts Quotient For Against
Mumbai 2 2 0 0 0 0 11 2.615 1098/27 622/40
Punjab 2 1 0 0 1 0 6 1.270 834/24 821/30
Gujarat 2 1 1 0 0 0 6 1.137 828/26 840/30
Saurashtra 2 1 1 0 0 0 6 0.945 974/24 1117/26
Hyderabad 2 0 0 0 2 0 6 1.451 1123/28 553/20
Delhi 2 0 0 0 2 0 4 0.953 803/20 1095/26
Orissa 2 0 1 0 1 0 1 0.432 805/30 1179/19
Rajasthan 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0.518 677/40 915/28

Group B
Team Mat Won Lost Tied Draw Aban Pts Quotient For Against
Tamil Nadu 2 0 0 0 2 0 6 2.189 1179/13 1243/30
Uttar Pradesh 2 0 0 0 2 0 6 1.016 849/26 1028/32
Maharashtra 2 0 0 0 2 0 4 0.623 1127/27 1206/18
Railways 1 0 0 0 1 0 3 1.375 406/12 492/20
Andhra 2 0 0 0 2 0 2 0.969 1037/27 832/21
Karnataka 2 0 0 0 2 0 2 0.710 1028/34 937/22
Baroda 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1.005 549/20 437/16

Top 5 batsmen

Name M I no Runs HS Avg. BF SR 100's 50's 0's 4's 6's
CA Pujara 2 3 1 310 302* 155.00 443 69.97 1 0 1 34 3
A Mukund 2 2 1
308 300* 308.00 399 77.19 1 0 0 35 5
(Tamil Nadu)
RA Jadeja 2 3 1 302 232* 151.00 462 65.36 1 0 0 34 2
AJ Shrikhande 2 3 0 282 195 94.00 541 52.12 1
1 0 36 0
SA Pai 2 4 0 261 130 65.25 710 36.76 1 2 1
S Vidyut 2 2 0 252 193 126.00 398 63.31 1 1 0 30 7
(Tamil Nadu)

Top 5 bowlers

Player M O M
BBI BBM Avg Econ SR 5 10
DS Kulkarni 2 65.4 20 165 16 5/40 9/88 10.31 2.51 24.6 1 0
RR Powar 2 47.2 7 129 12 5/44 8/70 10.75 2.72 23.6 1 0
C Suresh 2 129.0 44 326 12 5/122 7/205 27.16 2.52 64.5 1 0
(Tamil Nadu)
MB Parmar 2 84.5 33 199 11 6/143 6/143 18.09 2.34 46.2 1 0
R Ashwin 2 133.0 45 319 11 3/63 6/134 29.00 2.39 72.5 0 0


Monday, November 10, 2008

Ranji Trophy Super league second round matches

Posted by Balajhi Narayanasami

TN vs Karnataka - Group B

The battle of the south zone begin today at Chinnaswamy stadium Bangalore. Both teams failed to make any impression at the national level in the past 2 seasons. While Karnataka's strength was dented by retirements and players on national duty, TN suffered due to ICL. TN almost pushed Maharashtra to defeat while Karnataka managed to draw despite a second innings collapse (scorecard). They also conceded first innings lead to Railways. But unlike Group A, where Mumbai and Delhi registered good wins, none of the Group B contenders registered a win in the first round of super league round robin matches.

Coming to today's match, TN put up yet another good show on day 1 after winning the toss. The triple centurion at Nashik, Abinav Munkund, fell cheaply to Vinay kumar scoring just 8 runs. TN was tottering at 51 for three after losing Mukund, Badrinath for 7 and DK for 7. But the other opener Arun Karthik, who made is debut to replace Murali Vijay, scored 149 and shared a 246 runs stand with Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan who remains unbeaten at 115. At the end day's play TN is in a good position having scored 325 for the loss 4 wickets. They however can't relax and a lot depends on Vidyut and SS Kumar. They must carry on and eye a totall 500 to be gain in dominancy in the match.

Arun Karthik is 22 and looks like an aggressive batsmen. His century came in jsut 115 balls and his 149 took only 189 deliveries. Remember he is making a debut. Vidyut is doing a good job for TN. He is more consistent nowadays. IPL outing must have helped him. Surely IPL has some benefits and the notable one is Amit Mishra.

It seems DK has forgotten how to bat. His poor form continues. Badrinath's return must bolster TN batting, though he failed today. Long journey from Nagpur and getting dropped from the ODI side, that too replaced by his under study, must have impacted him.

L.Balaji has to come good for TN to win matches, not only here but in this season.

Sunil Joshi's distinction

The veteran Sunil Joshi has joined the 8 member elite club of 400+ wicket takers in Ranji trophy. Congratulations to him for the 400th and the long service. DK is his 400th wicket while current CoS, Kris Srikkanth, was his first wicket.

Top 10 wicket takers in Ranji Trophy

1. Rajinder Goel 637
2. S Venkataraghavan 530
3. Narendra Hirwani 441
4. Bhagwat Chandrasekhar 437
5. VV Kumar 418
6. Bishan Bedi 402
7. Utpal Chatterjee 401
8. Sunil Joshi 400
9. Erapalli Prasanna 370
10. Venkatapathy Raju 367

Day 1 - Scorecard

Update - Day 2

TN ended the first innings at 531 and Karnataka were 82 for 1 at close of stumps. TN's left arm spinner Suresh picked up the lone wicket that of Chipli, who left the armer strike him plumb. Karnatak now faces a tough task of matching 531, with their skipper down with the viral fever and on drips. Balaji and Yomahesh must cash in early morning dew at Chinnaswamy stadium.

Day 2 - Scorecard

Update - Day 3

TN gained the upper hand by restricting Karnataka to 267 and gaining a big first innings lead of 264. Karnataka, following on, are 48 for no loss at the end of day 3. L.Balajhi picked up 3 wickets, Suresh 4 and Ashwin picked up 3 for TN in Karnataka's first innings. Only Raghu with a 76 managed a fifty for Karnataka. Robin Uthappa was out to a first ball duck, lbw B. Ashwin.

Karnataka has to bat the whole day tomorrow. TN has to make the morning dew work for them. Hope Balaji shines in the second innings too. There was a time when teams batted a whole day comfortably to draw match. But the advent bang, bang cricket resulted in more attacking play, more mistakes and less tenacity among batsmen today. It will be interesting to see how Karnataka fares tomorrow.

Final update
The match has ended in a draw with Karnataka scoring 269 runs for the loss 4 wickets. R.Ashwin picked up 3 wickets for TN. Karnataka was bit shaky at 181 for 4 with 30+ overs to go but Raghu and Pandey batted valiantly to earn a draw and a point. TN's batting looks good for the season but the bowling is short on delivery.


Elsewhere in the Ranji

Group A

Mumbai piled 486 with Wasim Jaffer scoring 192. Gujarat tottering at 77 for six at the close of play on day 2. D Kulkarni picked up 4 for Mumbai. Parmer picked up 6 for Gujarat. Gujarat thrashed Saurashtra in the first match and now suffering at hands of the big boy.

Final Update
Mumbai cleans up Gujarat for 44 in the second innings. All Mumbai bowlers share the spoils. Seems like a professional performance by them.


Saurashtra's top order failed yet again to provide a good start and lost 3 wickets for 27 and almost repeated their performance against Gujarat last week. But not this time said the resolute Pujara. They were 100 for 4 when R Jadeja joined Pujara. These two together put up a grand show against Orissa and remained unbeaten after adding 520 runs together. Saurashtra declared at 620 for 4 with Pujara scoring his 3 triple of the season and first in this Ranji season. R Jadeja scored a double. Orissa have made a quite beginning. They are 42 for 0 at close of play.

Sourashtra has made Orissa follow on. Orissa is 4 for 0 at stumps with a whole day and 314 runs to match. Looks like Sourashtra will register a big win. They sufferred a huge loss in the hands of Gujarat in the first match. Today it was Gujarat's turn at the hands of Mumbai while Sourashtra looking to decimate Orissa.

Final update
Sourashtra wrapped up the match against Orissa. A confidence boosting win after the first match loss to Gujarat. Saurashtra trailing by 318 runs were bowled out for 234 with Jadeja, the first innings double centurion, picking up 5 wickets.


Delhi has some worries against Hyderabad. Hyd were all out for 334 with SA Pai scoring 130. Sangwan led the wickets tally for Delhi with 4 wickets. In reply Delhi are 124 for 3 with both openers Chopra and Dhawan back in the pavilion. Ashwin Yadav picked up 2 wickets. No idea about who he is though his name suggests that he could be the another son of the famous Shivlal Yadav playing for Hyderabad. Arjun Yadav continuing to lead Hyderabad with a first class average of around 28 with bat.

Delhi surrendered the first innings lead to Hyderbad. They were all out for 284 with Ashwin Yadav picking up 6 for 52. Who is he? Offie form Shivlal's stable?

At close of play Hyderabad were 31 for no loss and has a lead of 81. But for some sterling performance by Delhi bowlers, this match is heading into a draw. It's going to be second draw for Delhi this season. With Mumbai, Punjab winning and Sourashtra looking to wrap it up tomorrow, Delhi has to lift itself in the coming matchs

Final Update
As expected the match ended in a draw. Hyd scored 230 for the loss of 3 wickets. Mithun Manhas picked up all three for Delhi while Ravi Teja scored 113 and remained not out for Hyderabad.


Punjab are in a strong position after taking a 129 run lead against Rajasthan in the first innings. Rajasthan likely to perform worse than their first innings (133 ao) and are in shamble at 57 for 6 at the of day 2. Gony and Gagandeep stared with ball taking 4 wickets each in the first innings. In the second innings Kakkar picked up 3 so far for Punjab. Now Greg is really having some problem with his presence, irrespective of the team is working for.

Final update
Punjab has wrapped up the match against Rajasthan pretty comfortably. They needed just 41 to win the match and scored them for the loss of one wicket. It was a team performance.


Group B

UP vs Baroda
is almost even stevens with UP having just its nose ahead. Praveen Kumar for UP and Irfan for Baroda picked up fivers.

UP took a 51 run lead against Baroda. Irfan finished with 6 wickets. In their second essay Baroda has responded well and are 239 for 4. They now have a lead of 188. What will they do? Declare with a lead of 220+ and declare? I think they should. For a draw they will only get 1 as UP took the first innings lead but if they set a sporting target, they may as well pressurise UP and win the match and pocket 6 points. What would Connor Williams do? Go for 6 man. I am looking forward to this result. Interesting 4th day's play on the cards

Final update
The match ended in a draw. Asked to chase 264 UP ended with 151 for 6. They were once 97 for 6 in 30 overs. After that Kaif and Wicket Keeper Amir Khan saved UP valiantly. Kaif scored 45 while Amir scored 7 of some 90 odd balls. Both remained not out. Irfan could manage only 1 wicket in the second innings.


Maharashtra is in a strong position against Andhra Pradesh after surviving the scare given by TN in their first match. AP were all out for 348 while MH are 205 for 1 at stumps on day 2. MH's seamer Fallah took 6 wickets while their opening batsman Khadiwale scored 103 and was the batsman to be dismissed. For AP Whatekar scored 142.

This game is heading for a draw. With an overnight score of 205 for 1, Maharashtra were bundled out for 393. That's pathetic. They not only failed to score big but also consumed lot of overs to ensure a first innings lead. In the end they gained 45 runs lead and AP are 2 with out loss at stumps.

Final Update
The match ended in a draw. Andhra declared at 210 for 5 leaving 10 odd overs for Maharashtra to chase 166.



Monday, November 3, 2008

TN starts in style

Posted by Balajhi Narayanasami

Tamil Nadu opened its campaign at Nashik against Maharashtra. Their openers remain unbeaten at the end first day's play and have together added 377. M.Vijay, on whom I am keeping an eye, has scored his second double century in first class and the other opener Abinav Mukund, a new comer to the TN Ranji side, is on a century now. I hope they build the partnership further and score biggg individually.

TN has been struggling off late to make it past the league round. In fact two years back it had to fight hard to avoid relegation to the plate group. Badrinath was the lone man doing the batting for TN during this period after Badani, Sriram and few others left for ICL riches. Since the arrival of Vijay TN's batting look bit solid. Vijay had a good start to his career in 2006-07 and had an average one in 2007-08. He has had a good start to this season and is in good form. He had a good India A outing against NZ A and came second in the challenger trophy batting charts.

TN's prospects for this seasons rests largely on the shoulders of Vijay with Badrinath carrying the drinks for India seniors. TN's bowling department is emboldened by the return of L.Balaji. It has a very good offie, who missed out most of last season due to injury, in Ashwin.

Other point of interest in TN for Indian cricket fans is DK, the man who rose to the top from the bottom and fell down from there with a big thud, all in one season. Wishing him and his team good luck.

Day 2 - Update

TN declares at 648 for 3. Abinav Mukund makes it biggg (300*) and remains unbeaten while Vijay scored 243. Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan scored 59. DK failed again scoring just 5. A strange coincidence that both DK and his captain on England tour are struggling to find their touch. Balaji picks up the opener Khadiwale as Maharshtra ended the day at 154 for 1 in 44 overs. The pitch seems to be a good one to bat. Though still lot of cricket left in this game, I think this could end in a tame draw unless the pitch cracks and Ashwin has his way.

Day 3 - Update

This match is heading for a tame draw. Maharashtra are 401 for 7 at the end of day 3. TN likely to pick up extra first innings points. AJ Shrikhande, who is just playing his second first class match, saved the day for Maharastra with his big ton (195). Ashwin, the tall offie, has impressive figures of 3 for 68 from 40 overs. TN has to shore up its bowling, otherwise they will have another year of average performance.

Day 4 - Update

Despite TN's efforts on the fourth day KM Jadhav and NS Paradkar saved the day for Maharashtra. After dismissing MH for 457 in the first innings, TN enforced the follow on. TN spinners picked up 3 quick wickets for 55 but J & P scored 90+ each to ensure a draw and point for Maharashtra. Maharashtra scored 250 for six at the close of play. It must be relief for Maharashtra and an opportunity gone for TN. C Suresh, left arm spinner, of TN picked 7 or 205 in the match with a fiver in the first innings.

TN has improve it's performance in coming matches. Badri's presence should help them but Vijay's absence will be felt. Balaji and Yomagesh must deliver for TN enter the knock out phase.



Sunday, August 31, 2008

Ranji Trophy Winners - The Complete List

Posted by Soulberry

Within is the complete list of Ranji Trophy winners and runners-up according to chronological order. The initial source is from Cricinfo and subsequent updates will be as I follow the seasons.

Ranji Trophy Winners - The Complete List
1934-35MumbaiNorthern India
1938-39BengalSouthern Punjab
1939-40MaharashtraUnited Province
1972-73MumbaiTamil Nadu
1977-78KarnatakaUttar Pradesh
1987-88Tamil NaduRailways
1991-92DelhiTamil Nadu
1997-98KarnatakaUttar Pradesh
1998-99Karnatakamadhya Pradesh
2002-03MumbaiTamil Nadu
2003-04MumbaiTamil Nadu
2005-06Uttar PradeshBengal
2007-08DelhiUttar Pradesh


Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Origins of Ranji Trophy - Part IV

Posted by Soulberry

The Impostor

The post-lunch session saw us engrossed with a multi-layered deep game played on and off the field. The narrator calls us back into a huddle for the final session of the innings.

The proposal for a more inclusive domestic tournament on an All-India range was mooted in the Simla meet of 1934. HH Bhupinder Singh ji, Mahajadhiraj of Patiala, donated a sum of £ 500 towards the design of the trophy, the configuartion of which, he also proposed, besides naming it after Ranji, who had recently passed away. He had also offered to present miniature trophy to the winners for keeps. All his proposals were accepted and he was back on the track...just the home stretch remained.

Curiously, the public announcement was delayed, giving time for Vizzy to catch up with the new developments. A trophy must be matched with a trophy, which must appear more worthy to the powers that be.

An emergency meeting of the Board was summoned. Vizzy argued against naming the trophy after Ranji by placing the facts on the table that Ranji had done little for Indian cricket and had a highly limited involvement with the game in India. He suggested that it should be named after Lord Willingdon instead! Vizzy even offered to sponsor the trophy himself.

The meeting was attended by all the heavyweights of the board - Sir Sikander Hayat Khan, Nawabzada Liaqat Ali Khan, Patiala, RE Grant-Govan, Anthony S D'Mello and Vizzy.

The motion was passed without resistance or fuss. Patiala couldn't prevent the flip-flop over Ranji Trophy, for this one was named after the sitting Viceroy! None of the royal favour curries on the cricket board dared go against that!

Lady Willingdon, the Vicereine, herself selected the trophy, which was named The Willingdon Trophy and kept on public display.

Naturally, Patiala was quite miffed.

The rivalry between the two warring protagonists peaked in the finals of the Moin-ud-Dowlah Trophy between their respective teams at Hyderabad - Freebooters vs Retrievers.

Vizzy's Freebooters boasted of Learie Constantine in their ranks while Patiala's Retrievers were led by the young Yuvraj of Patiala.

It is said 15,000 spectators turned up at the Gymkhana Grounds of Secunderabad to witness this match. Surprisingly, Vizzy himself didn't take part in the match. It is said, he telegrammed Learie during the match promising an amount in pounds for every run scored and wicket taken. Unfortunately, it all came to naught, as we can see from the scorecard....The Retrievers won by three wickets.

In a sense, it was a metaphorical message for Vizzy.

There was public outcry in the press when the details were revealed. Ranji vs Willingdon assumed nationalistic colours in that charged atmosphere of the ongoing freedom struggle. Writers felt it was sacrilege to the memory of Ranji, who was, despite all, the greatest cricketer ever born in India. However cynicism reigned, despite the brave outrage, the general feeling was that the impostor would be awarded to the winning team of the first national championship 1935 - Bombay.

HJ Vajifdar deputizing for the indisposed Bombay captain, LP Jai, walked upto to receive the Willingdon Trophy one week after the match at a public exhibition of the trophy. Lord Willingdon himself was present on the podium to award it. There wasn't a single unsurprised soul in the gathering which witnessed Lord Willingdon switch trophies and award the Ranji Trophy instead!

Truly a case of one impostor setting the record right through another impostor!

And so, this was how Ranji Trophy, the tournament and trophy, came into being.


How did that happen? What prompted such drama from Lord Willingdon? It turns out the surprise was hatched in distant England as yet another move in the princely game of chess played between Patiala and Vizzy.

Patiala and Grant-Govan were in London to attend the ICC meeting at Lord's. Grant-Govan broached and Patiala promised that he'd fund Jack Ryder's Australians on their scheduled trip to India later in 1935. Hence, the Ranji Trophy was awarded.

The princely battles continued beyond, but India had a domestic championship of its own with a nice trophy named after the greatest cricketer born here, even if he didn't play for India. This is story that lay behind this little scrap one began with -

Soulberry adds:

Patronage, money and purchasing, encouraging rivalries between groups by patrons, strategies, subterfuge...all these are intrinsic to Indian cricket. Perhaps then it was a compulsion of slavery and subjugation, but such continue into the present day. The story of how the Ranji Trophy came into being is no different from the recent setting up of IPL...the protagonists may be different, the boundaries may be liberal, the amounts far greater, the stakes as high, and the games and countergames by rival parties the same. Like with the Ranji trophy then, it was with IPL now...India did manage to set up a structure to strengthen its cricket and matching the demands of the respective eras, and it managed to have a trophy of its own despite all!

Montage of Ranji Trophy and Ranjitsinghji

Knowing the troubled birth of this trophy must remind Indians - players, adminstrators and spectators - to give Ranji Trophy the status it truly deserves in our cricket.

And there is more to Ranji, but that's for another post. This fourth part concludes the series of blogs dicussing the origin of our domestic championship and trophy.

References and Links:

  1. The Origins of Ranji Trophy - Part I

  2. The Origins of Ranji Trophy - Part II

  3. The Origins of Ranji Trophy - Part II


The Origins of Ranji Trophy - Part III

Posted by Soulberry

Oh, To be my nation's first captain! And proxy wars thereof

At lunch, we were left mulling the seriousness attached to a game by grown up men with varying degrees of power and wealth. A game we quickly set up with one log of wood, a ball, and three bricks, on the torn and worn asphalt pitches of narrow gullies binding our homes. The thought that men fought over it, spent inheritances on it, nations fought over a game can push one into a thoughtful repose...they all still do the same, don't they?

Then and Now are almost the same!

But our narrator is ready with yet another twist in the tale, yet another round of sparring, of landing punches and counter punchins, of feints, bluffs and counter-feints. The Trophy indeed was gestated without hurry. We must be therefore be attentive, lest we miss...

All that had happened earlier was a build up from the main rivals towards the much sought after captaincy of the first Indian cricket team. Nothing more, nothing less, for being the country's cricket captain was percieved to be the acme of power one could enjoy under the British colonial system. Royals, who some claim, are simply the wiliest and strongest rogues of all, anywhere in the world, were more prone to take these matters to heart than the ordinary man.

When Vizzy appeared to have done enough to completely displace Patiala, Bhupinder Singh ji threw in a late jab, hoping it would find its mark. he agreed to sponsor the trials and bear one month's expenses of the touring party. With a flailing stroke, he was almost back on even keel and in with a chance to captain India again.

But other players were also in...shooting for a chance.

To push his case along, the Nawab of Pataudi Sr issued a statement suggesting his willingness to concede his Worcestershire qualification if he were selected to play for India. Considering that his selection was beyond doubt, it was felt there was a suggestion in it towards captaincy.

Letters of support and counter-support for various candidates began to appear in the newspapers of that time. Some of them were authored under unknown pseudonyms. Today, we all correspond over the net under such pseudonyms - concealment of identity on the web is considered a form of security - in times gone by, such methods were frowned upon but used nevertheless strategically.

Pataudi Sr, Vizzy, Patiala, Duleepsinhji and KS Ghanshaymsinhji were some of the names in the fray. The nation waited with bated breath to learn of their captain as the meeting convened on 4th February 1932, at 3.30 pm in the afternoon.

Perhaps it was the consistent financial support and the offer to sponsor the trials which did it - HH Maharajaadhiraj Maharaja of Patiala Bhupinder Singh ji was nominated the first captain of the Indian cricket team. It was a nomination which evoked debate and partisan views in the press of that time.

While a section claimed it to be a tribute to his highness's efforts over a long time, others questioned his skills, form, tactical and leadership abilities. At best, such felt, Bhupinder Singh, could be a non-playing captain.

Vizzy left no one in doubt about what he thought about the decision of the board. He decided to withdraw from the tour, ostensibly on grouds of poor health, and work instead on Lord Willingdon. Such is what our narrator tells us.

He wrote to the board citing his excuses, expresing his anguish and at the same time thanking the board for selecting him for the tour.

Vizzy immediately donated a pavilion to the newly constructed Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium and named it after Lord Willingdon, in an attempt to strengthen his position with the powers that were.

The erstwhile Willingdon Pavilion at Feroze Shah Kotla, New Delhi, donated by Vizzy. Now it has been replaced after rennovations to the ground

In reponse, Bhupinder Singh ji pulled off a political masterstroke of his own to kill two birds with one stone - to conceal his own poor ability and form, and to retrieve the thunder Vizzy again appeared to have stolen.

Having made his point by being selected as first-choice captain, the powerful one among the gaming satraps of Indian cricket relinquished his appointment to the surprise of one and all. He too thanked the board and gushed about the privilige of leading the country like Vizzy, and offerred existing state situation as an excuse for his inability to get away to play cricket.

The Maharaja of Porbander thus became the Captain of India by two defaults.

He was the worst player on the team scoring a total of two runs in the first class games leading up to the Test match. However, he was sensible enough to give up his captaincy to CK Nayudu. Therefore, much as the royals craved and plotted, ultimately it was a commoner who led India in its first test match.

Meanwhile, as a result of Vizzy's donations and attentions to Lord Willingdon, The balance of power began to slip away from Patiala. The associations which earlier fed off him began to wean themselves away from him. Or so says Mihir Bose, in his History of Indian Cricket.

Patiala began to play his cards fast as well, refusing to give up easily.

He entertained the visiting MCC team lavishly during their Indian sojourn, with all the special eastern thrills which excited colonial Englishmen. So much so, that after sessions of hunting in the Himalayas, the stiff Douglas Jardine was also melted over.

Next, he withdrew himself from all contests for active playing positions and responsibilities and pushed forward the young Yuvraj of Patiala, Yadvindra Singh ji, who was a more capable cricket player.

CK Nayudu was played up by Vizzy depite being a poor captain and Vizzy used that discontent to make his way forward. He won a game against the visiting MCC team of Douglas Jardine, which added a halo to him. There was further sheen when Jardine praised his potential to be India captain.

Meanwhile, Ranji, who was in the employment of Patiala's cricketing XI, passed away.

Patiala responded to setbacks by yet again turning towards the less promiment.

With the Bombay Pentangulars suspended, the need for a proper, All-India domestic tournament was felt as an immediate necessity by the board. the Mayor of Bombay suggested so when the Indian team returned from England in 1932. However, it was much earlier, in 1928 when the Board for Control of Cricket in India was set up, that it was felt such a system would strengthen the cricketing abilities of the nation.

In 1934 Simla meet, Anthony S D'Mello emphasized the need for such a tournament. Patiala sensed and seized the moment yet again - he stood up and donated immediately, the sum of £ 500 for the trophy along with a description of what it was to look like - "Grecian urn two feet high, with a lid, the handle of which represented Father Time, similar to the one on the weather vane at Lord's."

He also expressed his desire that the trophy be named after Ranji, to honor Ranji's contribution to the game. here was also an offer to present a miniature to the winning team for keepsakes.

The Maharaja of Patiala's suggestions and offer were well recieved. It looked like Ranji Trophy would soon be born.

-- End of Part - III --

References and Links:

  1. The Origins of Ranji Trophy - Part I

  2. The Origins of Ranji Trophy - Part II


Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Origins of Ranji Trophy - Part II

Posted by Soulberry

The social ascension of HH The Maharajkumar Sir Pusapati Gajapatiraju Vijaya Ananda "Vizzy"

When we broke off for the first drink's break, the narrator had introduced us to the scene, climes, and some of the characters who unwittingly ended up creating the Ranji trophy. The narrator also introduced us to the two main protagonists responsible, documenting their rivalry, and the declining influence of the powerful Maharajah of Patiala, due to recorded scandalous misdemeanours, in the court of the Viceroy, Lord Willingdon, which was matched by the sudden concurrent rise in prestige of his bête noire - Maharajkumar of Vizianagaram. He had left us there, tantalizingly poised to see Vizzy rise in court from his remarkable challenge. Before we go on, let us briefly understand Vizzy.

HH The Maharajkumar Sir Pusapati Gajapatiraju Vijaya Ananda Vizzy

Unlike the powerful and ruling Maharajadhiraj Bhupinder Singh ji of Patiala, Vizzy was the second son of Maharaja Sahib Pusapati Chittibabu Vijayarama IV Gajapathi. Thus he was not in direct line of power, and hence a Mahrajkumar. Then, he had a disagreement with his nephew, following which, he had to shift base from his southern Kingdom of Vizianagaram to Benares (Varanasi) where he married Maharajkumari Bhagirath Devi of Kashipur and settled down. However, it is said, he was an ambitious man, determined to cultivate his own power and influence through the plough of cricket.

Mihir Bose has famously written in his book, A History of Indian Cricket, "If Vizzy had been content with being such a cricket sponsor like Sir Horatio Mann in the eighteenth century, or Sir Julien Cahn in the twentieth, his name would be one of the most revered in Indian cricket. But he was consumed with the ambition to be a great cricketer".

It is a famous quote, often seen on the web, included on Vizzy's page at Wiki, and perhaps summarizes what, or sets the tone for how, most authors may feel about Vizzy. It is true perhaps that Vizzy dreamt of leading India as captain, in what was merely a sport otherwise, but had assumed far different dimensions then as it continues to wear now.

So here is a young man, born into monarchy, and with an inclination to rule, living in a period when power and patronage were still tantalizingly near, even though these essentials were slipping away swiftly and certainly from the grasp of traditional rulers, with great organizational skills, and some lesser ones in the most useful of places - on the cricket field of colonial India. He used them both to replace the firmly entrenched Patiala from close proximity to Lord Willingdon, Chief Patron of cricket in India and also the Viceroy of that time. At least for a while Vizzy was King.

Vizzy organized and led a team on a tour of Ceylon versus Dr. J Rockwood's Europeans in 1930-31, and cricket playing centres of India such as Delhi, Calcutta (now Kolkatta), Madras(now Chennai), Bangalore ( now Bengaluru ), Secunderbad and Benares ( Varanasi). ( More related stats - here and the controversies thereof re: Hobbs and Sutcliffe) The Indian part of the contingent included senior players such as CK Nayudu, Mushtaq Ali, and Prof. D.B Deodhar.

Getting Hobbs and Sutcliffe to play was no mean feat, we are told, for Hobbs had spurned five previous offers. Fans of Kevin Pietersen in India hoping to see him play in the IPL, therefore, still have four hopes to go! Vizzy spent his own money in setting up this team and organizing the tour, the success of which, not only drew apprecation from Sutcliffe (who went on to record it the Daily Express of that time), but also catapulted his stock in the cricket establishment of India to dizzy heights.

Our narrator tells us that Times of India reported then that Nawab Liaquat Ali Khan, the President of the Cricket Control Board, en route attending the second round table conference at Bombay, disclosed th convening of an emergency board meeting at Simla in which issues relating to office bearers, th proposed tour of England and the visit of Ceylon were discussed. He also diclosed that Vizzy had announced a purse of Rupees 50,000 towards the forthcoming tour of England. Anthony S D'Mello, RE Grant Govan, and CE Newham (who was acting president) were said to be sitting in the meeting.

The seed for captaincy of the Indian team was clearly being tended to vigorously.

At this point I may need to digress a little and discuss a point with our narrator for I am confuse about the Liaqat Ali Khan involved with both round tables and cricket besides being a Nawab in the bargain.

Extensive research on the net ( please refer to the difficulties I mentioned earlier in the absence of a BCCI website ) by me on Nawabzada Liaqat Ali Khan for his affiliation and association with cricket adminstration of that time revealed nothing.

The BCCI list of presidents also dos not reveal the name of the Nawab. However, our narrator has quoted Times of India and I do not have access to their archives of that period. There are however Sikandar Hayat Khan and Mohammed Hamidullah Khan on the list approximating that period. Well, that's one for our narrator to clarify. I welcome anyone who points me in the right direction.

We are told, Vizzy upon reaching Delhi after being invited for a meeting with the powers that be, issued a stirring statement of aims in which he claimed he had ndertaken the journey for the sake of cricket, endeavoring for the materialization of the proposed tour of England, and that he was willing to sacrifice wealth and much for the sake of the game and the tour.

News reports of that time, we are told, in the light of the successful organization of the Ceylon and India tour and generosity, concluded their articles with a declaration that Vizzy's appointment as captain to England was a certainity.

The viceregal doors opened and Vizzy was at discussions with Lord Willingdon over the proposal and details of the tour of England. Willingdon is said to have been deeply interested in favour of the project. Clearly Vizzy had closer to the seat of power while the colourful Patiala had slipped away from it.

Not so...things are not so clear-cut in princely thrusts and parry's.

Patiala decided to redeem his eroding status by offering to cover the expenses of the trials involved for the team's selection and a month's expenses on tour. The hitherto impoverished Board was truly overwhelmed by the windfalls of rivalry.

Also, with the rivalry no longer covert, it gave opportunity to others to shape things along. The Jama Saheb Nawab of Nawanagar, who invented a delicately cruel stroke to survive and thrive in competitive counties saw a chance to create an impresion in India as well. Similarly, there were those, who through correspondence with newspapers, anonymously or otherwise, threw in the crown of the Nawab of Pataudi - Iftikhar Ali Khan, and others' as well into the captaincy stakes.

-- End of Part II --


  1. The Origins of Ranji Trophy - Part I


The Origins of Ranji Trophy - Part I

Posted by Soulberry

Of princely intrigues, courting colonial masters, and decline of Patiala's influence

One of the peculiar aspects of researching the origins of the Trophy on the net is that there is only standard material available unless you have access to very old press archives, which I obviously do not have. There are also curiously very few images of the Trophy itself in the public or purchasable domain. However, there is plenty of material available in the print world. There are many books which tell us about how it all began. I had to provoke my local bookshop owner to explore beyond his stock of cricket books and he graciously obliged: the best of the lot for me was Boria Majumdar's Once Upon a Furore : Lost Pages of Indian Cricket, published originally by an independent venture called Yoda Press, which has since handed over its catalogue to Cambridge University Press, it appears. Even at the mentioned rate, it is a bargain for this is a book worth reading and possessing. I got it for a happy discount from my regular store owner. I mention all this for the books were not easy to procure as per my experience.

Majumdar's is a compulsive style which is engrossing and is well-supported by his meticulous research which reveals to us many unknown aspects of Indian cricket unmentioned even in other respected titles. I have digressed at the outset of this blogpost itself, but it was necessary to mention this wonderful book to those who want to know about the history of Indian cricket. Boria has since gone on to author another tremendous book which is about ten times the cost of this one and contains many many details. It was also necessary for I have chosen to accept most of the information he has conveyed to us as source, and will base this post on the framework of that information. Credit given where credit is due, we move on to chew some past among us...

The world knows the simple facts about the Ranji Trophy, but the story of how it came about is a script for a drama in itself!

Not many resources (detailed enough) are available to in the form of a record or chronicle of the birth of this most important domestic competition on the net. Boria digs up the princely rivalries, court intrigues, motivated rulers, and other peripheral characters with vested interests; the different personal and public ambitions; all of which together breathed life into the sustaining seed of Indian cricket - The Ranji Trophy.

The physical makings of The Trophy ( Click to Enlarge )- Text source: Boria Majumdar and Artwork: Soulberry

We are told (see image above), behind that innocent magnanimity in the general meeting of the Board of Cricket Control at the colonial summer capital of Simla , in the setting of pre-independent India, where former rajahs and maharajas were reduced to being mere courtiers of colonial viceroys, with little or none, power and importance, that cricket became an important plough to cultivate the colonial rulers and develop some much-needed influence to retain some relevance. We are told, that gaming cricket with the lord and overseer, surrogated for wars these decorative satraps could not wage with each other anymore. We are told how the politics of cricket in India gave Ranji his royal seat and immortality, even though he played little for and in India.

The principals in this intriguing story of the Trophy's birth, the narrator tells us, were the HH Maharaja
of Patiala, Bhupendrasingh Rajindersingh
ji and the Maharajkumar of Vizianagaram "Vizzy".

HH Maharajadhiraja Maharaja of Patiala Bhupinder Singh ji ( Public Domain Image ) and HH Maharajkumar of Vizianagaram Sir Gajapatiraju Vijaya Ananda 'Vizzy' from Cricinfo

We rewind to India circa pre-independent 1930s, when the Board of Control for Cricket was a newly formed body. HH Bhupindersingh ji of Patiala was among the most powerful of princes in India at that time when most had lost the majority of their powers. He was a generous patron of the game of cricket, appointed officially the vice-patron, second only to Lord Willingdon, chief patron by virtue of being the Viceroy of that era, who controlled the Board activities and donated magnanimous sums of money as well as for the construction of the Cricket Club of India ( CCI ) building. { CCI is housed in Brabourne Stadium and Raj Singh Dungarpur was its chief till recently }

The Patiala maharaj also employed senior cricketers and Ranjitsinhji was one of them. In fact, it is said, Patiala stood by Ranji in overcoming his financial crisis.

However, Patiala was also an infamous connoiseur of wondrous beings of the other kind, according to the published work of one of his disgruntled subjects in the tome Indictment of Patiala. as a result, he was gradually sinking in grace with the powers that be. It was in this self-inflicted asthenic state that Patiala found challenge, in the ambitious form of Vizzy, HH Maharajkumar of Vizianagaram.

Due to the launch of the Civil Disobedience Movement against the British by Mahatma Gandhi around that time, the proposed MCC tour was cancelled.

Vizzy saw an opportunity and jumped in to plug the gap and capitalize with a team comprising, among others, the highly influential Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe, to tour Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and cricket-playing parts of India.

Indian giants such as Colonel CK Nayudu, Mushtaq Ali, and Prof. D.B Deodhar were also part of that tour.

The tour was an unqualified success and Sutcliffe lavished praise upon Vizzy in his columns for a newspaper. He went thus, according to our narrator -

The Maharajkumar is a candidate for the captaincy for the Indian team to tour England, and if he's fortunate enough to be appointed, he will no doubt give an excellent account of himself for he has had a through grounding in the finer points of the game, and is a most capable leader.

This "endorsement", the value of which in times such as those can be understood, fuelled Vizzy and his dreams. With greater assurance, he lobbied himself into a clearly rival position to Patiala.

-- End of Part One --


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

With A Brief Word About The BCCI Flag and Logo

Posted by Soulberry


Most cricket boards have their own comprehensive websites...curiously, BCCI continues to be an exception to that. Strangely, it continues to be without a website of its own. In such a state, one can only gather information from various sources and come up with something which might be close to the truth.

This is what I put up about India/BCCI colours and logo at The Cricket Watcher's Journal 1.

BCCI Flag at Sydney This happens to be the best shot of the BCCI flag I could find on the web. That in itself is a story and wake-up call for the Indian board. However, continuing...

The sporting colours of the Indian cricket team and it's logo are derived from the flag.

The light blue and gold are the primary colours with hints of the darker blue.

The origins of these colours can only be guessed.

Considering that BCCI was a colonial establishment, the light blue is symbolic of the Christian concept that light blue signifies Divine cure.

In the same vein, the yellow/gold band could represent the sparkling gold of baptism in Holy Christ.

As to the darker blue, I haven't the slightest idea and my research hasn't revealed much on it.

The Star of India Coming to the star/sun in the center, it is derived from the Star of India 2. Some other colonial medals can also be seen at this website 3.

I quote from sources - "The star of the Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India, the highest class of the Star of India and the star that appears all over the place on British "colonial" flags in India."

Another source - "The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India was an Order of Chivalry instituted in 1861 and discontinued in 1947. "

However, the Star of India exists, albeit in a slightly modified form, at the center of the BCCI flag. BCCI, as we know, haven't been able to completely sever the philosophical umbilical cord with England and the colonial past. It remains one the few institutions in India which haven't completely relinquished their colonial heritage.

BCCI LOGO On Rahul Dravid's India Cap Take a look at the India cap Dravs is wearing. The Star of India is slightly modified now and instead of the pointed rays, now wears blunted rays...perhaps a concession to changed times, perhaps for graphical ease.

The above are the result of things I have read at different places...on the web and print. I could be wrong and would welcome suggestions. Hopefully, BCCI can construct a proper website soon enough and we can have more information about cricket in India and its history straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

It is possible the Star of India was used to represent all sports, and following independence in 1947, somehow it stuck with cricket and BCCI.

There is also a school of thought that the colour blue was adopted because it was thought to represent secularism, which is one of the cornerstones of India.

These are, as I said, conjectures...only BCCI can tell us where the truth lies.

It is with this that I commence a record of my impressions of domestic cricket in India.


  1. The Cricket Watcher's Journal




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