Cricket in India and Its History
Cricket is considered to be a religion in India. There are no sure theories about the origin of Cricket in India but as British ruled India for over 200 years, the game can be called as their legacy. India started playing Cricket way back in 1721 unofficially but was granted the official test status in 1932. They played their first test cricket match from 25th June to 28th June in the year 1932 against England at Lords’ in London. India was led by CK Nayudu at that time. India was the sixth team to play test cricket. India was considered a weak team in the Cricketing Circuit for a long time and people used to have matches for practice.But the Indian team changed from the 1950s and is a major force to reckon with today.
The first team of India was the Parsi team
India went on to win their first test match in 1952 against England at Madras (now Chennai). The first series victory for the Indian team came in the very same year against the arch-rivals, Pakistan. In the next decade, India gained the reputation of being a strong team at home. Though they won only two series during this period and both against New Zealand they drew the series against Pakistan, England, and Australia. India became a much more successful team in the year of 1970s and they recorded their first-ever series victory in this decade. The bowling attack in this era was spearheaded by Bishen Singh Bedi, E.A.S. Prasanna, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, and Srinivas Venkataraghavan. It was during this decade that India produced two of India’s best ever batsmen, Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Viswanath. In the mid-70s the Cricket made a transformation from test cricket to one day cricket. India was not good at one day format in the starting. The team turned the table around in the year 1983 after winning the World Cup in England that year beating the mighty West Indies team in the finals. Since then India’s story in the world Cricket has been of highs and lows.
The team has battled several odds to be one of the top teams in the world. The team saw the black period when there was a match-fixing scandal that projected the ugly face of the Indian team including other teams. After that, the Indian team made a brave beginning and has scaled new heights since then. Today Indian Cricket Team under the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) is the most professional set up in the sports. Today BCCI is the richest sporting body in the world. The money that BCCI generates has ensured better facilities at the grass-root level and at the same time better payment for players. BCCI negotiates sponsorships for the team and its future tours and the selection of its players through a selection committee. Indian Cricket boasts the best infrastructure today compared to all other sports.
The Parsi Contribution
The Parsi community was the pioneer when it came to accepting the sport, having first set up the Oriental Cricket Club in Mumbai in the year 1848, followed by Young Zoroastrians Club two years later.
Apart from that, the evolving metropolis of Mumbai also witnessed the establishment of some other cricketing clubs like the Hindu Gymkhana and the Bombay Gymkhana. Nonetheless, it was the Parsis who contributed the most to the development of the sport in India. Being economically stable, they were one of the first to send their own team to England. One player from the team who deserves special mention here was the round-arm bowler Dr. Mehellasha Pavri. He managed to take 170 wickets in the two England tours by the team.
Having had a second successful outing in England, the British sent a team to India in 1889 to play a game against the Parsis, along with others against the English team in India.
It was in this match that the G.F. Vernon-led British side suffered a 4-wicket defeat to the Parsis, the first such defeat for the British on the Indian soil.
India Cricket Team – the Initial Days
Seeing the progress made by the Indians, Lord Harris, the then Governor of the Bombay Province, did his bit to further develop the sport in India.
He not only arranged for an annual Presidency match between the Parsis and the Europeans but also earmarked land on the Mumbai seafront to set up the famed Gymkhanas and Maidans.
The year 1911 saw an ‘All-India’ team go on their first-ever tour of England. The team featured some of the best cricketers of the time. These included some stalwarts like Baloo Palwankar, C.K. Nayudu, Prof. DB Deodhar, Wazir Ali, JG Navale, and Colonel Mistry among others.
Formation of BCCI and the First International Match
In 1928, the Board of Control for Cricket in India was established with Grant Govan being the first President while Anthony De Mello the first Secretary.
The city’s long-standing history and tryst with the sport led to Bombay being adjudged as the base of this newly formed organization. Four years later, India officially became a Test-playing nation in 1932.
The inaugural Test was played at Lord’s in 1932 with Col. C.K. Nayudu being awarded the honor of becoming India’s first Test captain.
Initial Test Success
The country had to wait for over two decades from 1932 to 1952 to open its account in Test cricket. It was in the fifth and final Test of the 1951-52 England tour of India series at Chennai that India won by an innings and eight runs. A series win soon followed in 1953, when the Indian cricketers defeated fierce rivals Pakistan.
India’s first Test series win abroad came in 1967-68, when the New Zealanders were beaten 3-1 on their own pitches.
The Sachin Tendulkar Era
When Kapil Dev was lifting the 1983 Prudential Cup, a boy got inspired somewhere in the Mumbai suburbs. That 10-year-old would go on to not only be India’s best player to ever grace the sport, but also the torchbearer of Cricket globally. This was Sachin Tendulkar.
Tendulkar began his Ranji Trophy career on November 14, 1987. Unfortunately, he was just a substitute then. He made his actual debut in December 1988, the next season. He made 100 not out in his very first match. The glimpse of his extremely bright future was visible to everyone as he finished the season with 583 runs at an average of 67.77, becoming the highest run-scorer for Bombay. Tendulkar has scored centuries in all his three domestic tournament debuts- Ranji, Irani, and Duleep Trophies.
In the year 1989, Tendulkar made his Test and ODI debut against Pakistan. In doing so, he became the youngest player to debut for India in both formats. Steadily, he became a dependable fixture in the team and rose through ranks. Tendulkar was the highest run-scorer at the 1996 World Cup. He was the Man of the Tournament at the 2003 World Cup as well.
One of the best players in the history of the game, Sachin Tendulkar never found much success as a captain. Hence, he decided to stay away from captaincy. He had some ups and downs in his performances throughout his long career. However, he always bounced back stronger.
India ushered into a new light when the selectors took a bold step of giving reigns to a relatively inexperienced Jharkhand wicketkeeper- MS Dhoni. The bold move was further followed by an exit of established but aging cricketers.
Cricket in India and Its History is the most interesting to know about. In spite of not being a national game of India, cricket is the most favorite game among all.
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