- History of cricket in India to 1918
This article describes the history of cricket in India to 1918.
The entire history of cricket in India and the sub-continent as a whole is based on the existence and development of the
British Rajvia the East India Company.
31 December1600, Queen Elizabeth I granted a Royal Charterto the East India Company, often colloquially referred to as "John Company". It was initially a joint-stock company that sought trading privileges in India and the East Indies, but the Royal Charter effectively gave it a 21 year monopoly on all trade in the region. In time, the East India Company transformed from a commercial trading venture to one which virtually ruled India as it acquired auxiliary governmental and military functions, until its dissolution in 1858 following the Indian Mutiny. The East India Company was the means by which cricket was introduced into India.
In 1639, the Company effectively founded the city of
Madrasand in 1661 acquired Portuguese territory on the west coast of India that included Bombay. In 1690, an Anglo-Moghul treaty allowed English merchants to establish a trading settlement on the Hooghly River, which became Calcutta. All of these places became major cricket centres as the popularity of the game grew among the native population.
In 1721, the first definite reference to cricket being played anywhere in the sub-continent is a report of English sailors of the East India Company playing a game at
Cambay, near Baroda.
The Calcutta Cricket and Football Club is known to be in existence by 1792, but was possibly founded more than a decade earlier. In 1799, another club was formed at
Seringapatamin south India after the successful British siege and the defeat of Tippoo Sultan.
Beginning of first-class cricket
In 1864, a Madras v. Calcutta match was arguably the start of
first-class cricketin India.
The most important fixture in the 19th century was the Bombay Presidency Match which evolved, first, into the Bombay Triangular and then into the
Bombay Quadrangular. The match was first played in 1877 and then intermittently for several seasons until finally being given first-class status in 1892-93.
An English team led by
George Vernonin 1889-90 was the first foreign team to tour India but none of the matches that it played are considered first-class.
First-class cricket definitely began in the 1892-93 season with two Europeans v Parsees matches at [http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/3/3883.html Bombay] (match drawn) and [http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/3/3895.html Poona] (Parsees won by 3 wickets). In the same season,
Lord Hawkecaptained an English team that played four first-class matches including a game against "All India" on 26- 28 January1893.
Bombay Presidency winners
* 1892-93 – Parsees
* 1893-94 – Europeans
* 1894-95 – Europeans shared with Parsees
* 1895-96 – Europeans shared with Parsees
* 1896-97 – Europeans
* 1897-98 – Parsees
* 1898-99 – Europeans
* 1899-00 – Europeans shared with Parsees
* 1900-01 – Parsees
* 1901-02 – Europeans shared with Parsees
* 1902-03 – Europeans shared with Parsees
* 1903-04 – Parsees
* 1904-05 – Parsees
* 1905-06 – Hindus shared with Parsees
* 1906-07 – Hindus
Bombay Triangular winners
Bombay Quadrangular winners
* 1912-13 – Parsees
* 1913-14 – Hindus shared with Muslims
* 1914-15 – Hindus shared with Parsees
* 1915-16 – Europeans
* 1916-17 – Europeans shared with Parsees
* 1917-18 – Hindus shared with Parsees
Leading players by season
The lists below give the leading first-class runscorers and wicket-takers in each domestic season.
* 1892-93 –
Ledger Hill(Lord Hawke's XI) – 212 runs @ 35.33 (HS 132); the leading Indian batsman was Nasarvanji Bapasola with 155 @ 38.75 (HS 65)
* 1893-94 –
* 1892-93 – John Hornsby (Lord Hawke's XI) – 28 wickets @ 10.67 (BB 8-40); the leading Indian bowler was Dinshaw Writer with 19 @ 4.94 (BB 8-35)
* 1893-94 –
The first Indian ventures into international cricket were by the
Parsees cricket teamwhich toured England twice in the 1880s. See: Parsee cricket team in England in 1886and Parsee cricket team in England in 1888.
International tours of India
G F Vernon's XI 1889-90
An English cricket team led by G F Vernon toured Ceylon and India in the winter of 1889-90. The team played no first-class matches but it was a pioneering tour being the first visit by an English team to India and the second to Ceylon. In all, the team played 13 matches of which 10 were won, 1 was lost and 2 drawn.
Lord Hawke's XI 1892-93
"For information about this tour, see" :
Lord Hawke's XI cricket team in Ceylon and India in 1892-93
* [http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Events/IND.html CricketArchive – Itinerary of Events in India]
Rowland Bowen, "Cricket: A History of its Growth and Development", Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1970
Vasant Raiji, "India's Hambledon Men", Tyeby Press, 1986
Mihir Bose, "A History of Indian Cricket", Andre-Deutsch, 1990
Ramachandra Guha, "A Corner of a Foreign Field - An Indian History of a British Sport", Picador, 2001
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