Cricket, the Brilliant Game!

A fresh take on cricket, the brilliant game…

In the International Spotlight…India Cricket

Posted by wildkiwi25 on May 9, 2008


Cricket is the unofficial national sport of India, and its development has been closely tied up with the history of the country, mirroring many of the political and cultural developments around issues such as caste, religion and nationality. Though cricket is indubitably the most popular sport in India, it is not the nation’s national sport (a distinction held by field hockey).

Introduction to cricket by the British:
Cricket, like field hockey, was first introduced to India by the British. The earliest recorded match was played in 1721 by British sailors on shore leave. With the expansion of British rule throughout the subcontinent, the British took the game with them wherever they went. However, the early history of the game was focused largely on the large cities, particularly Bombay (now Mumbai).

Emergence of native players:
Anil Kumble is the highest wicket-taker for India in both One Day International and Test matches. He is also the current Test team captainThe first Indians to play the game at a high level were the Parsi minority in Bombay. Beginning in 1892, an annual match was played between the Parsis and the Europeans. In 1907, this became a triangular tournament with the Hindus fielding a team, and in 1912 a Muslim team entered what was for twenty years the biggest tournament in India—the Bombay Quadrangular.

Among the biggest stars in the early years of Indian cricket were the four Palwankar brothers, Shivram, Ganpat and Vithal but particularly the slow left-arm bowler, Palwankar Baloo. This was particularly noteworthy as the Palwankars were from one of the untouchable castes. Treated as equals on the cricket field, off-field they often faced discrimination. This changed slowly; however, Palwankar Vithal did eventually captain the Hindu team in the quadrangular.

The formation of the Board of Control for Cricket in India in 1929 led to a first Test match with England three years later. In 1935, the Ranji Trophy began; it continues to the present as the leading regional tournament in India, with each state fielding a team. The trophy was a deliberate attempt to avoid the communalism of the quadrangular tournament.

Post-Freedom Developments:
The Indian cricket team has won one Cricket World Cup, in 1983. India also reached the final in 2003, but lost to Australia. Team India bagged the 2007 Twenty-20 Cricket World Cup under the captainship of M.S.Dhoni. In recent years, Indian cricket has been marked by the intense rivalry with Pakistan. Furthermore, there were several scandals related to match fixing and gambling, not restricted to just India, but plaguing several different teams.

International Cricket:
International cricket in India generally does not follow a fixed pattern like, for example, the English schedule under which the nation tours other countries during winter and plays at home during the summer. Generally, there has recently been a tendency to play more one-day matches than Test matches. The Indian cricket side has recently played a test series in Australia.

Domestic Competitions:

  • Ranji Trophy – Founded as ‘The Cricket Championship of India’ at a meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India in July 1934. The first Ranji Trophy fixtures took place in the 1934-35 season. Syed Mohammed Hadi of Hyderabad was the first batsman to score a century in the tournament. The Trophy was donated by H.H. Sir Bhupendra Singh Mahinder Baha-dur, Maharajah of Patiala in memory of His late Highness Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji of Nawanagar. In the main, the Ranji Trophy is composed of teams representing the states that make up India. As the political states have multiplied, so have cricket teams, but not every state has a team. Some states have more than one cricket team, e.g. Maharashtra and Gujarat. There are also ‘odd’ teams like Railways, and Services representing the armed forces. The various teams used to be grouped into zones – North, West, East, Central and South – and the initial matches were played on a league basis within the zones. The top two (until 1991-92) and then top three teams (subsequent years) from each zone then played in a national knock-out competition. Starting with the 2002-03 season, the zonal system has been abandoned and a two-division structure has been adopted with two teams being promoted from the plate league and two relegated from the elite league. If the knockout matches are not finished they are decided on the first-innings lead.
  • Irani Trophy – The Irani Trophy tournament was conceived during the 1959-60 season to mark the completion of 25 years of the Ranji Trophy championship and was named after the late Z.R. Irani, who was associated with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from its inception in 1928, till his death in 1970 and a keen patron of the game. The first match, played between the Ranji Trophy champions and the Rest of India was played in 1959-60. For the first few years, it was played at the fag end of the season. Realising the importance of the fixture, the BCCI moved it to the beginning of the season. Since 1965-66, it has traditionally heralded the start of the new domestic season. The Irani Trophy game ranks very high in popularity and importance. It is one of the few domestic matches that is followed with keen interest by cricket lovers in the country. Leading players take part in the game which has often been a sort of selection trial to pick the Indian team for foreign tours.
  • Duleep Trophy – The Duleep Trophy competition was started by the Board of Control for Cricket in India in 1961-62 with the aim of providing a greater competitive edge in domestic cricket – because, apart from the knock-out stages of the Ranji Trophy, that competition proved predictable, with Bombay winning for fifteen consecutive years. The Duleep was also meant to help the selectors in assessing form. The original format was that five teams, drawn from the five zones, play each other on a knock-out basis. From the 1993-94 season, the competition has been converted to a league format.
  • Deodhar Trophy- Started in 1973-74 by Board of Control for Cricket in India, it is the current one-day cricket competition in Indian domestic cricket. 5 zonal teams – North zone, South zone, East zone, West zone and Central zone feature in the competition. North zone have won this competition 11th time.
  • Challenger series- Started as the Challenger series by the Board of Control for Cricket in India in 1994-95 and later named as NKP Salve Challenger Trophy in 1998-99, the tournament features 3 teams: India senior, India A and India B playing each other. The tournament features the top 36 players from India
  • Indian Cricket League- Appalled by the state of domestic Indian cricket, Zee TV decided to launch this league as its own Twenty20 domestic series. The first matches were held in October 2007. The ICL sprung into the spotlight due to its head on battle with the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Brian Lara was the first international star to be officially drafted to play in the league.
  • Indian Premier League
    In response to the rival ICL, the BCCI started the Indian Premier League. This League being launched by BCCI have received support from all the other Cricket Boards, and International Players could be drafted into City-based Franchises.

    See also…

  • The Official Site of the Indian Cricket League – Indian Cricket League – Copyright © PayAutoMata, LLC
  • – Live ICL scorecard and news
  • Indian Cricket League – ICL|Latest ICL News |ICL Forums | ICL Info| ICL Match Schedule|
  • Crichome – News, discussions about League Cricket, Indian Cricket League, Indian Premier League
  • Breaking Cricket Stories – Discover, Score, Discuss | Runoutt
  • Indian Cricket League
  • Indian Cricket
  • ICL 20/20 Cricket Championship– Zee Sports broadcasts live ICL 20/20 matches


    *Acknowledgements to, Owners of Pictures,, and other related sites/links etc

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