Just as the Americans love Baseball and Basketball similarly in India we love Cricket and Cricketers. Nothing excites this nation as much as the sound of the Leather hitting the willow. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Kutch to Arunachal Pradesh the sight of young children playing the game from dawn to dusk is a common phenomenon. The adulation and love that the cricketers garner from the fans in India are unparalleled. For an average American or European, this might be a bit difficult to digest that a game invented by the Britishers has caught the frenzy of a nation like nothing before.
The Britishers who in the 19th century had built a second worldwide empire, based on its sea- power introduced cricket in India. The Parsis were the first community to establish a cricket club in India during the 19th century. It was then that the Europeans invited the Parsis for playing a cricket match with them.
By the 20th century, there was a full-fledged mechanism of a regular quadrangular cricket tournament that saw the participation of the Parsis, Sikhs, Muslims, and Hindus with the Europeans of the country. A team from others was included to expand the Quadrangular tournament to the Pentangular tournament. The Quadrangular tournament in Mumbai the erstwhile Bombay generated much fanfare and excitement amongst the crowd who used to throng in large numbers to witness these matches.
Mahatma Gandhi at that time advocated for stopping everything then prevalent in the country which was communal. As a result, the tournament was brought to an abrupt end. The first Indian Cricket team to play an official test match was captained by the great C.K. Naidu who was the best batsman in the country at that time. The first test match was played at Lord’s the Mecca of Cricket and India officially became the sixth team to be granted test status.
India waited for more than 20 years for its first test victory. It was in the year 1952 when it beat England at a Test Match in Madras for its first test victory ever. Vijay Hazare was the captain of the Team and his English Counterpart was Donald Carr. Vinoo Mankad’s inspiring bowling performance helped India skittle out England for 266 in the first innings. India in response riding on the tons of Pankaj Roy and Polly Umrigar scored a mammoth 457. On a pitch that had significantly worn out in the latter part of the test match, the English batsmen were bundled out for a paltry 183 in the second innings. Thus the Indian team registered its first test match victory at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium formerly known as the Madras Cricket Club Ground or the Chepauk stadium.