We all know about Sir Ravindra Jadeja and also how he got the "Sir" title. The title was given by the former Indian Captain M.S. Dhoni. But do you know the real Sir Jadeja? No, I guess. So, let me tell you about the father of Indian cricket Sir Ranjit Singh ji Vibhaji Jadeja, after whom the first-class Indian cricket tournament Ranji Trophy is named.
The story begins from 1896 when Sir Ranjit Jadeja made his test debut vs Australia playing from the England side. He was the first Indian to play cricket and that too from the England team as there was no Indian team in 1896. In his first-class career he played around 307 matches and with an average of 56.37 he scored 24,692 runs including 72 (100s) and 109 (50s). He revolutionized the game of cricket with his unorthodox techniques and invented the Leg Glance and Late Cut shots. In the early days of cricket, it was very difficult to score runs on the leg side and young cricketers were warned not to play on the leg side. But Sir Jadeja completely changed the game of cricket.
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Then cricket critic Nevile Cardus quoted him as "Midsummer Night’s Dream" of Cricket. The Wisden magazine known as the Bible of cricket listed him in its 5 cricketers of the year. He also made a world record in his debut match as he was the first cricketer to score a 150 not out in his debut match, and also the first to score 150 on Old Trafford ground in Manchester. He also played from the Sussex club and was appointed as captain after Murdoch's retirement.
In 1904 he returned to India and became the administrator of his state. He belonged to the royal family of Nawanagar now Jamnagar in Gujarat. He worked for the development of his state and cricket in India. After his death in 1933 Ranji Trophy was started in his name in 1934. He was the first Indian cricketer to play an international match. So, it won't be wrong to quote him as The Father of Indian Cricket.
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