The History of Cricket in India

Cricket, although not recognised as an official national sport of India, is, without doubt, the most popular sport in our country. There are enough domestic cricket competitions in India daily to remind us that cricket is the only sport that has the power to bring all Indians together. In fact, you wouldn't be wrong to say that it is more of a religion than a sport. And it is only amplified by online cricket betting But, how did it come to be like this?

How did Cricket start in India?

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Everyone knows that the British ruled India for over two centuries and it was at the start of this colonial period (early 1700s) that the local Indians got their first taste of cricket. The British soldiers and traders would play cricket to pass the time and, whenever they did, curious locals would gather close by to survey the action. The first recorded match in India took place in 1721, when the English settlers took on the British Army. As the British rule on India intensified, and the soldiers and traders started spreading out around the country, more and more Indians started to see this weird, but intriguing, the game being played.

It fascinated us right from the beginning and in 1792 the Calcutta Cricket Club (CCC) was established. This is recognised as the world's second oldest cricket club, behind the Marylebone Cricket Club, which was founded back in 1787. The CCC, which is now known as the CC & FC), arranged a match between the Old Etonians and their team. Robert Vansittart scored a fine century in the game, which is now recognised as the first ever century on Indian soil. Those who were part of the Indian army were some of the first Indians to play this game. This was because they knew some of the rules, having continuously watched the senior men, who were British, play in their free time.

We Owe the Parsi Community a Lot

The game grew in popularity when the Parsi community, in 1848, founded the Oriental Cricket Club. Then, two years later, they also set up the Young Zoroastrians Club. As they were an economically stable community, they were the first to send a team to England to play cricket. Dr. Mehellasha Pravi deserves an honourable mention here as he managed to take 170 wickets during two tours of England. However, the Parsis still struggled to win matches and they could not cope with the unfamiliar conditions. Despite this, the British respected the talents of the Parsis so, in 1889, they sent a team out to India to play against them. G.F. Vernon led the British team, but they went on to lose to the Parsis by four wickets. This is now known as the first cricket defeat for the British in India.

Lord Harris Deserves Some Credit As Well

Noting the undeniable progress that the Indians were making at cricket, Lord Harris, the Governor of Bombay Province, started to do his best to develop the sport even more in India. He did this by creating a yearly match between the Europeans and the Parsis as well as setting up the Gymkhanas and Maidans. In 1911, the very first "All-India" cricket team went on a tour of England. This team was made up of some fantastic cricketers, such as Baloo Palwankar, Wazir Ali, JG Navale, and Prof. DB Deodhar. We had to wait nearly three decades for our first international test match, but we will talk more about that below.

Who is the Father of Cricket?

William Gilbert Grace, known as W. G. Grace, is known as the "Father of Cricket". Alongside this title, he is also considered to be one of the best cricketers of all time. He could do it all; bat, bowl, and field. When he was batting, his technical ability and influence on other players left a long-lasting legacy. In fact, he has been credited with creating modern batsmanship. He was always the captain of the teams that he played for as his tactical acumen and playing skills were a level above everyone else.

Grace Wrote Two Books about Cricket That Are Well Worth a Read

"The Classic Guide to Cricket" and "Cricketing Reminiscences & Personal Recollections" are two books that every cricket fan really should pick up and read. His main opinion was that nobody is born a great cricketer, it is something that has to be worked on. Indeed, he achieved his high levels of skill by practising constantly as a boy and being taught by his uncle. Although he saw work ethic as very important for those wanting to achieve greatness in this game, he also insisted that cricket is a game that must be enjoyable and wasn't ashamed to admit that he loved to tease his opponents. However, although he aimed to have fun when playing, he had a win at all costs attitude. The modern game owes a lot to this outrageously talented cricketer, so it really is no exaggeration to call him the “Father of Cricket”.

Is Cricket Older Than Football?

This is a question that football and cricket fans love to debate. Here, we attempt to answer it as best as we can. Football, as we know it today, originated from England during the mid 19th century. However, the first ball game where the ball was kicked occurred in China in the 3rd century BC. In the 7th century, Ancient Romans played games with balls filled with air. The Romans brought a form of football to Britain, but it is not known how much of an impact this had on them or whether they had already developed their own kind of football.

The most accepted story is that the game developed in England during the 12th century. During this century, games that close resemble football as we know it today were played in large meadows. This was a more violent form of the game though, and people would often end up seriously injured or even dead. It is believed that this is why the game was forbidden for a number of centuries. However, it popped up again in London during the 17th century, and was then banned again in the 19th century. However, by that time, the game was already well established in public schools. It then took a long time for that sport to turn into the football that we know today. In fact, for a long period, it was often difficult to tell whether they were playing football or rugby. A meeting was held at Cambridge in 1848 to try and create some proper rules for the game, but nothing could be agreed upon. However, in London in 1863, the very first Football Association was founded. It was then agreed that touching the ball with your hands was not allowed. New rules were continually added until the football that we know today was created.

So, What is the Answer to the Question?

Well, if we are just taking the football and cricket that we know today into consideration, then cricket is the older of the two as it has been played this way since the 15th century, whereas the football of today only came into being in the 19th century. However, if we don't take into consideration how both sports are played today, football dates back much farther than cricket as people have been kicking balls with their feet since the second century.

Where Was the First Cricket Game Played?

Well, as the sport itself originated in England, it is safe to say that the very first cricket match took place over there. By Tudor times in Britain, the game of cricket was recognisable as the sport that is now loved by over a billion people all over the world. It had become very well established in counties such as Kent, Surrey, and Sussex and was soon a very important part of leisure time in schools around the country. Around 1550, there is evidence that cricket had been played in Guildford in Surrey. Therefore, we can assume that the very first cricket match took place in Surrey. When it comes to inter-county cricket, the first recorded match took place in 1709. This was a game played between Kent and Surrey at Dartford Brent, Kent. The result of the match is not known, it is known that they played for a prize of 50 British pounds, which is the equivalent of 9,000 British pounds today.

Who is the First Cricket Captain of India?

The Board of Control for Cricket in India, also known as the BCCI, was formed in 1928. Grant Govan was the first President, while his secretary was Anthony De Mello. Due to Bombay's long affiliation with the sport, it was decided that this city would be the base for this new organisation. Four years after it's inception, India became a test-playing nation. Our country's first test match was played in 1932 at Lord's, London. Colonel C. K. Nayudu was the captain, making him the first man to be captain of his country. Originally, Maharaja of Patiala was going to have the honour of being the first Indian cricket captain, but he stepped down from the tour of England a few weeks before it was due to begin because of sickness. As a result, the captaincy was passed onto the Mahharaja of Porbandar, despite the fact that he was the most untalented player in the side. However, Porbandar knew that he didn't have the ability or the experience to lead the Indian team, so he passed the captaincy over to Nayudu.

Who is Known as the Father of Indian Cricket?

Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Jadeja, fondly known as Ranji, was the ruler of Nawanagar from 1907-33. However, besides being royalty, he was also an extremely talented cricketer that played for England. Like W. G. Grace, he is often described as one of the best batsmen to have ever played the game and is now regarded as the "Father of Indian Cricket". He helped to revolutionize the game thanks to his new batting style. For example, batsmen had a habit of playing on the front foot, but Ranji realises that he would get more time to play the ball if he played off the back foot instead. The leg glance is a shot that he was very fond of and helped to popularise. W.G. Grace was extremely impressed with his talent and when a man of his calibre said someone was a great cricketer, you could guarantee that the person in question was a special talent. He became such a popular figure in Indian cricket history that the BBCI named a tournament after him.

Who Named Sachin the God of Cricket?

When you get picked to play cricket for India, you become a star. Everyone will love you and you have the chance to become well known all over the country and the world. There have been many great Indian cricketers such as Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, V.V.S. Laxman, Anil Kumble, and Virat Kohli. All of these players are loved by Indian fans all over the world. However, there is one name we have left off this list and that is, of course, Sachin Tendulkar. For us, Indians and many non-Indians no doubt, Tendulkar is simply the "God of Cricket". He made his debut for India at the tender age of 16 and during his twenty-year career, he broke record after record. He played 200 test matches for his country and scored an astonishing 15,921 runs at an average of 53.78. This makes him the highest runscorer in test cricket history and the 51 test match centuries that he scored in the process is more than any other player. He also sits at the top of the table in ODI cricket. In 463 matches, he scored a staggering 18,426 runs at an average of 44.83. He scored 49 ODI centuries, meaning that he has hit 100, yes 100, international centuries for his country. He is the only batsman to have achieved this remarkable feat. In his whole cricketing career, this batting maestro scored a total of 71,242 runs. Therefore, when we look at these figures, it is little wonder why we Indians hold him in such high regard. He has become so popular in India that he cannot go anywhere without being mobbed by his passionate fans. He actually once tried to watch a movie in a disguise, but he never got to see the full movie because he was recognised when his glasses fell off. Other interesting facts about one of the greatest players to have ever graced the game:

  • He scored a century on his debuts in the Duleep Trophy, Ranji Trophy, and Irani Trophy.
  • He is the only player to have taken 40 wickets and scored more than 11,000 test match runs.
  • It took him 79 games to score his first ODI century. Considering his unbelievable talent, this is a fact that is quite hard to believe.
  • He was out stumped only once in test matches. This was against England in Bangalore in 2002. The bowler that got him out was Ashley Giles and James Foster completed the stumping.

So, as you can see, the title of “God of Cricket” is something that he truly earned during his long cricketing career.

Where is Cricket Played the Most?

Cricket is a popular sport in:

  • England
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Bangladesh
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • South Africa
  • the West Indies
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Afghanistan
  • Zimbabwe

When it comes to answering the above question, there is no definitive answer available on the Internet, but we think it is safe to say that most cricket is played in India. Cricket is huge here and you can see it being played wherever you go in the country. Okay, it is also huge in places such as Pakistan and Bangladesh, but the sheer size of our country and our population size probably helps to give us the edge. When it comes to different cricket tournaments we have more than you can shake a stick at. No matter what time of the year it is, you can guarantee that there is always some sort of cricket match happening somewhere in the country.