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The History of Cricket in India

10 Jun 2022

Cricket is an important part of Indian culture. The sport is among the most-watched broadcasts in the country.

Thanks to superstars such as Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, and Virat Kohli, the sport enjoys a cult status in India and online cricket betting has become the top form of online betting in the country.

But where did India’s love for the game all start? Let’s find out!

The Beginnings

The history of cricket stretches back to the early 1700s and is undoubtedly related to the existence and development of the British Raj via the East India Company.

The first written reference to cricket being played in India was an unofficial match between English sailors in 1737.  The Calcutta Cricket and Football Club was formed right around 1800, with another club formed around the same time in Seringapatam.

First-class cricket in India started in 1864 with a match between Calcutta and Madras. First-class cricket was often played at the time between the English and Indians as a way to build trust.

If the English had good connections with the Indians, they could control the territory easier, and it was all because of cricket.

Bit by bit, cricket grew more popular in India. The biggest match in the XIX century was the Bombay Presidency Match first played in 1877.

It achieved first-class status in 1892-1893.  That is the season when cricket was officially recognized in India with two Europeans vs. Parsees matches in Bombay.

That same season, Lord Hawke captained an English team that played an All-Indian team 4 times in January 1893. The rest, as they say, is history.

Domestic Cricket Competitions

Cricket in India has come a long way from its humble political beginnings. Since the XIX century, it has grown into a national sport with numerous competitions.

Domestic competitions include the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the Duleep Trophy, Ranji Trophy, Deodhar Trophy, Irani Trophy, the NPK Salve Challenger Trophy and more.

The real cricket star in India, however, is the Indian Premier League.

Widely considered to be the best T20 cricket league in the world, the IPL is home to some of the greatest players in the sport.

It’s also the biggest cricket league globally and has seen many cricket records broken by some of the best players.

This is the reason why India has built some of the most spectacular cricket stadiums in the world including Eden Gardens and the Sardar Patel Stadium with an incredible capacity of 110,000 seats.

India’s National Cricket Team

The Indian national cricket team has enjoyed tremendous success in international tournaments.

It won its first World Cup in 1983, won it again in 2011, and won the ICC World Twenty20 in 2007 and the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013. 

All these trophies have established India’s cricket team as one of the best in the sport.

The team has been captained by some of the greatest Indian (and world) cricket players of all time.

MS Dhoni, for example, led the team to the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, while the great Kapil Dev captained the team to its first Cricket World Cup trophy in 1983. Currently, the team is captained by Virat Kohli. 

India shares a rivalry with the Pakistani national team which is also the country’s political arch-rival.

Due to its international success, India also shares rivalries with England, Australia, and South Africa. In short, India’s national team is one of the best in cricket.

Famous Indian Cricketers

Being the most popular sport in India, it is perfectly understandable that Indian cricket has had so many great players over the years. 

Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest name on the list. Often referred to as ‘God of Cricket’, Tendulkar is considered one of the greatest batsmen in the history of the sport.

He holds several cricket records such as being the only player with 100 international centuries in cricket.

Kapil Dev is another big name on this list. He was India’s captain when the country won its first World Cup in 1983 and was rightfully inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2010. 

MS Dhoni is another name worthy of mention. His colourful personality and unique batting style have made him a cricket legend in India and around the world.

MS Dhoni has captained India’s national team to many successes and is one of the best cricketers India has produced.

Other names that have done a lot for cricket in India are current captain Virat Kohli as well as Yuvraj Singh and Rahul Dravid.

The list of legendary Indian cricketers is long which shows how much attention India pays to the sport.

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