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Ranjitsinhji, the man behind Ranji Trophy but never played for India

Ranjitsinhji

Every Indian, whether in India or outside, follows cricket either to a huge extent or just a little bit.

But, in however much capacity the following of the game is present, everyone knows about one of its prestigious domestic tournaments, named after Ranjitsinhji as Ranji Trophy.

Ranjitsinhji has been hailed as the Father of Indian Cricket by everyone.

But, it is a very surprising fact that the grand man never played for his birth country but represented England.

He played for Sussex and had represented England in 15 Tests between 1896 to 1902.

His averages in first-class cricket for Sussex were over 56 and his best score of 285 not out really showed his hunger to score as many runs as possible.

He also dominated on the Test scene for England. In his first game against Australia, he got scores of 62 and 154 not out, but the game was won by Australia by 3 wickets.

Ranjitsinhji could have easily scored a century once more in Test cricket, but in his last match, he could only manage to score 2 and 4 as Australia beat England by 3 runs.

His first-class career was between 1893 to 1920. He was a great timer of the ball and it became difficult for bowlers to get him out. He was a very stylish player as well.

Ranjitsinhji was a royal, and that royalty and grace flowed into his batting as well.

As India entered the Test scene in 1932, Ranjitsinhji died the next year in 1933.

If he would have been alive today, he would have surely wanted to represent India.

It might have been his wish to play for the country of his birth.

The first-ever season of the Ranji Trophy was held in 1934-1935 and Bombay, now Mumbai has crowned its first-ever champions. Mumbai has played 46 finals and won 41 titles so far.

The current champions are Saurashtra who won the title in the 2019-20 season as the 2020-21 season was canceled because of COVID.

Although Ranjitsinhji never got to play Test cricket for India, he made sure his country got recognition as a Test-playing nation.

He was the one who put Indian cricket on the map in England, which made Englishmen take notice of India.

So, the Father of the game ensured that the game grew beyond him which it certainly did in great proportions.

He would have been proud to see the thriving scene of Indian cricket.

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