What is the history of the Ranji Trophy in India?

Ranji Trophy is the first class tournament in India. In this article, we will discuss the history of the Ranji Trophy in India.

The Ranji Trophy is a domestic cricket tournament that is played in India every year. It is considered one of the most prestigious domestic cricket tournaments in the world. The tournament is named after Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji, who was a prominent cricket player in the early 1900s. Ranji Trophy is also known as India’s premier first-class cricket competition. The tournament has a rich history, with many legends of Indian cricket having participated in it.

First-ever Ranji Trophy

The Ranji Trophy was first played in 1934-35, and it was initially known as the “Cricket Championship of India.” The tournament was started by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as a way to promote domestic cricket in the country. The tournament was played between various teams representing different regions of India, such as the Bombay Presidency, Central Provinces, Delhi, and Madras. The first-ever Ranji Trophy match was played between Madras and Mysore in November 1934.

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Domination of the Bombay team

The early years of the tournament were dominated by the Bombay team, which won the first fifteen titles. The Bombay team was captained by several legendary cricketers such as Vijay Merchant, Polly Umrigar, and Sunil Gavaskar. The team’s success in the tournament was due to the presence of many talented players, including several Test players.

Changes in Ranji Trophy

Over the years, the tournament has undergone several changes. In 1951-52, the teams were reorganized into five zones, and the tournament was played on a zonal basis. The top teams from each zone would then qualify for the knockout stage of the tournament. In 1970-71, the tournament was again restructured, and the zonal system was replaced with a two-tier system. The top teams from the first tier would then qualify for the knockout stage.

The Ranji Trophy has also witnessed many memorable performances from Indian cricketing legends. In 1988-89, Sachin Tendulkar made his debut for Bombay at the age of 15. He scored a century in the semifinal of the tournament, becoming the youngest Indian to score a first-class century. Tendulkar went on to become one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket.

In 2017-18, Vidarbha won their first-ever Ranji Trophy title. They defeated Delhi in the final by 9 wickets. Vidarbha’s victory was remarkable as they had never reached the final of the tournament before. Their success was built on the performances of their captain, Faiz Fazal, and their bowlers.

The Ranji Trophy has also played an important role in the development of Indian cricket. It has provided a platform for young and talented cricketers to showcase their skills and make a name for themselves. Many of India’s current Test players, such as Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Ravichandran Ashwin, have come through the ranks of the Ranji Trophy.

The current champions of the Ranji Trophy are the Saurashtra team when they defeated the Bengal team in the 2022-23 final. Mumbai/Bombay team has won the most titles. They have won the Ranji Trophy 41 times. No other team has won the trophy even 10 times. Karnataka/Bangalore have 8 wins while the Delhi team has 7 wins.

Conclusion

The Ranji Trophy has a rich history and is an integral part of Indian cricket. The tournament has witnessed many memorable performances and has played a crucial role in the development of Indian cricket. It remains one of the most important domestic cricket tournaments in the world, and its legacy will continue to inspire future generations of cricketers.

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