The East India Company has played a major role in defining and molding the history of cricket in India. The company, through its operations in India, introduced cricket to the country and influenced the locals into playing the game. This influence was made possible by the chartering of the company in the year 1600 by the queen of England. Some of the major cricket centers that were established by the company include Madras and Bombay (Bateman, Jerram, and Tony 150). According to accessed records, it can be determined that the earliest record of cricket in India being in the early 1700s. This was reference to the game being played in the town of Cambay. This was the beginning of a growth in the interest of locals in the game. The popularity of the game has morphed over the years to produce the robust system that supports Cricket in India. The recorded history refers to most of the changes and progress taking place between the years 1918 to date. The changes started off from the early simple beginnings to the current organizations and bodies that characterize the sport.
The early beginnings of the sport are characterized by the introduction of the sport into India by East India Company. The company contributed towards the introduction of the sport via the games played between its employees and the local workers (Agur 542). With the consistency of the games came an increase in the interest of the game from the locals. While it started off as a favorite pass time for the settlers, more people started seeing it as a way for engaging in positive competition. However, the game became more popular in the 1900s. This is the period where the India cricket team first won the World Cup. This is also the period whereby domestic championships such as Deodhar and Ranji trophy were developed (Agur 550). These events resulted in a rapid increase in the popularity of the sport in the South Asia. It was also in this period that the Indian premier league was developed. As a result of the organization of cricket in India, there was a development of high skilled professionals who have gone to break several records in and outside the country (Bateman, Jerram, and Tony 153). However, in order to fully understand how such players came to be, it would be crucial to delve deeper into the history of cricket in India. This would require discussing the history of cricket in India as early as the year 1918.
It is in the years between 1918 and 1916 that India truly became a member of the elite among the countries that played cricket professionally. At the time, these countries were New Zealand, England, and Australia. It was also at this time that South Africa was beginning to join the ranks of countries that were considered serious contenders of the game and the trophies associated with it (Majumdar 183). It was also in this period that India played against England. Tis game was so popular that the attending crowd numbered an average of twenty four thousand spectators. Among the people attending the match included the king of the UK. He was also the emperor of India at the time. The years between nineteen forty five and the year nineteen sixty saw the country become partitioned. This was in the year 1947, after the country had gained full independence. However, the partitioning had a negative influence in the growth of the game in India. It resulted in the abolishment of certain trophies such as the Bombay Quadrangular trophy (Bateman, Jerram, and Tony 156). The result was the abolishment of teams that were based on the ethnicity of its members (Majumdar 190). Trophies such as Ranji Trophy were done away with all together. However, there were positive points and notes in this period. This is also the period whereby the India first beat England.
The 1960s was a period that was characterized by the domination of the game by teams such as Bombay. The Bombay team was able to win all the Ranji trophies in this period, outwitting all other teams fair and square (Majumdar 181). The period was also characterized by the development of several players who were considered start players. Such players include Farokh Engineer. His performance was so good that he was idolized and celebrated among the locals to an extent of developing holidays and days that are dedicated to him (Majumdar 169). This popularity is considerable because the period did not have a form of communication that made it easy to have locals obtain such information quickly. The domination of Bombay as a team in the games continued into the 80s. However, teams such as Delhi were able to provide Bombay with the only kind of competition that would have them worried. India as a country was also able to obtain highlights on an international level by winning the test series on English soil (Majumdar 170). It was in the 1970s that the country was also able to beat international teams that were revered by the top tier in the cricket world. The teams include New Zealand and Australia. Ajit Wadekar was also the captain that managed to lead the Indian national cricket team into winning the back to back series winnings (Majumdar 179).
The great performance of the Indian team continues to date. However, this performance has a hall mark in the 80s. This was the period whereby major teams had their names altered after the development of the national league (Bose 4). This is considered to be the core reason behind the rapid development of individual players in India. The introduction of the national league provided the different players in India with an opportunity to hone their skills on a national level (Bateman, Jerram, and Tony 149). It was also in this period that the national team became congruent and associated with the attacking strategy. India was also able to win the world cup in the year 1983. Despite this win, the country was unable to replicate this performance in the tests in England later that year. It was in the year 1987 that the world cup was held in India for the first time. However, the national team was unable to clinch the title. The twenty first century has brought about several changes in the team. For instance, the year two thousand was the year that saw the Indian national team elect a foreign coach. The team was also able to win the test series against major teams such as Australia an unbeaten fashion.
The history of Indias cricket brings one to the current organization of the national cricket organizations that govern the different playoffs that take place. However, it is important to note that the international cricket has not been found to implement a specified pattern. It is the dynamic nature of the international fixtures that makes India such a hotbed of cricket talent. This is because this model allows more players to participate in international games. As a result of this organization, there has been a reduction of test matches. On the contrary there is an increase in the one day matches (Majumdar 177). However, these matches are controlled by Board of Control for Cricket in India. This is considered to be one of the richest of such boards in the world. As a result of this association, the team has also been seen to accommodate an increase in the best players in the world today. Other than the international games, there are domestic competitions that have been instrumental in the development of the raw talent associated with Indias Cricket. Cu competitions include the Ranji trophy, the Irani trophy, NKP slave Challenger trophy, the Duleep trophy, the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the Deodhar trophy, and the BCCI corporate trophy (Agur 556). These are just some of the trophies that have contributed to the rapid growth of the national team.
The history of Indian Cricket clearly depicts a lot of heritage and value in working together to produce tremendous results. While the interaction between the different teams and thus the national players was crucial in the development of the current team, it would not be possible without it being introduced by the British in the first place. The British settlers are not among the favorite among the westerners in India. This is because of the hardships the British took the country through in the early 1700s. However, it is their introduction of cricket in India that has resulted in the rapid growth of the countrys dominance in the game. The country is today considered to have one of the best organized cricket organizations in the world. Along with this organization is an increase in the quality of players emanating from the country.
Agur, Colin. "A Foreign Field No Longer: India, The IPL, And The Global Business Of Cricket." Journal Of Asian & African Studies (Sage Publications, Ltd.) 48.5 (2013): 541-556. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.
Bateman, Jerram, and Tony Binns. "More Than Just A Game?: Grass Roots Cricket And Development In Mumbai, India." Progress In Development Studies 14.2 (2014): 147-161. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30 Nov. 2015..Bose, Mihir. "India's Wildest Dream." History Today 64.6 (2014): 3-5. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.
Gupta, Amit. "India And The IPL: Cricket's Globalized Empire." Round Table 98.401 (2009): 201-211. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.
Majumdar, Boria. "Cricket In India: Representative Playing Field To Restrictive Preserve." Culture, Sport, Society6.2/3 (2003): 169-191. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.
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