Walk down memory lane: How the India vs England cricket rivalry started
Since India and England get set to renew their rivalry in Rajkot on Wednesday, here’s a look back on how it all started at Lord’s about 25 June 1932- India’s first ever official Test match.
The Times, London on 1 March 1932, one-and-a-half months ahead of the Indians embarked on their tour of England released another report:
“The match gown on. The Delhi police might be having three sharp rounds with a rioting crowd in the Chandni Chowk, the crowded bazaar of this old city, but a mile or two away on the club ground set in the gardens that 400 years past Shah Jehan built for his princess, also a Roshanara side would be playing the Punjab Wanderers or a Army group from New Cantonments will soon be fielding in the white sunlight. ()
Here is the group for England:
The Maharaja of Patiala, Captain (eventually withdrew in favour of the Maharaja of Porbander), K. S. Ghanshyamsinhji (Kathiawar), Vice Captain, Amar Singh (Jamnagar), S.M.H Colah (Bombay), Ghulam Mohammed (Ahmedabad), Joginder Singh (Punjab), B.E. Kapadia (Bombay), Lal Singh (Kuala Lumpur), N.D. Marshall (Bombay), J. Naoomal (Karachi), J.G. Navle (Gwalior), C.K. Nayudu (Indore), Nazir Ali (Patiala), S. M. Nissar (Punjab), P.E. Palia (Mysore), S Godambe (Bombay), Wazir Ali (Bhopal).
Itinerary of matches
And shortly after the Indian team arrived on 13 April the Evening Standard commented about the Importance of the excursion:
“No politics, no caste, only cricket. This is this cricket team’s unofficial motto that comes from India to try its strength from England and the first class counties.
There has never been a group of contrasts meeting on the footing of cricket. The 18 players speak eight to ten languages one of them; they both belong into four or five unique castes.
Caste demands that the Mohammedans avoid bacon, pork and ham, and that the Hindus do not eat beef or veal. To avoid any issues the purchase has gone so these items must not look during the excursion on any menu. Instead the guys will eat mutton, fish and poultry.
The group contains five Mohammedans six Hindus, four Parsees and two Sikhs. The Mohammedans forswear alcohol by religion and the majority of the others do so by choice. The Sikhs, who’ll play cricket in turbans, are similarly denied smoking”
Cartoon- Indian Cricket Tour of England
The Indians played their first tour match against T.G. Trott’s XI at Pelsham Farm, Pearmarsh near Rye on 29 April 1932. Playing against the Indian group in this match was Duleepsinhji. While the Indians acquitted themselves nicely, Lall Singh, the Sikh out of Malaya leading the way, it had been around 22 May 1932 in the match against the MCC that the world had a peek of that which India’s first home grown legend, C. K. Nayudu, was capable of. Wisden Cricketer of the year in 1933, Nayudu, blasted the tour’s first Indian century . The Star’s headline on 22 May 1932 summed it all up: “The Hindu Bradman in Form at Lords”. The Observer was both eloquent: “A dazzling not out innings of 116 from C.K. Nayudu was the characteristic of the first day’s play between All-India and the MCC.”
Nayudu leading out the group at Lord’s in 1932
It had been in the very first and only test match at Lords that the Indians shocked the English . The MCC was reduced into some gloomy 19-3 by some excellent Indian bowling and fielding. Wrote The Birmingham Post: “This had been an outstanding beginning to the match. Holmes and Sutcliffe, Yorkshire beating opening pair, combined under the banner of England in an identical manner, went out full of confidence. But the ball of Nissar’s second over was Sutcliffe and still an in-swinger, playing with the edge instead of the center of the bat, then diverted it into the wicket-and one of England’s greatest batsmen was out. The confrontation was redoubled and restored when the last ball of the same finished , a delivery perfect in length, flight and pace, sent Holmes’ off stump turning through the air, although the batsman was only half way during the stroke. Hammond and Woolley were together.
Indians at the Victoria station in 1932
When he (Woolley) had obtained 9 in twenty five minutes he played with a ball from Nissar into some stage between brief leg and mid-on. The stroke was worth a individual and more, but for some reason that is outstanding an effort was made to fasten two runs. The fielder, the turbaned Lall Singh, threw in rather very, but the wicketkeeper had time to gather it while Woolley was a few feet from your home, and eliminate the bails. The wicket was thrown away by crazy phoning, and three guys were out for 19″
The courage and grit revealed at Lords conveyed into the world that the Indians, in time, would carve out a niche in the realm of cricket though India lost the match by 158 runs.