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Ranji
Ranjitsinh.jpeg
Personal information
Full name Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji
Born 10 September 1872(1872-09-10)
Sarodar, Kathiawar, British India
Died 2 April 1933 (aged 60)
Gujarat, British India
Nickname Ranji, Smith
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Right arm slow
Role Batsman, later author and Maharaja of Nawanagar
International information
National side England
Test debut (cap 105) 16 July 1896 v Australia
Last Test 24 July 1902 v Australia
Domestic team information
Years Team
1895 – 1920 Sussex
1901 – 1904 London County
1893 – 1894 Cambridge University
Career statistics
Competition Test FC
Matches 15 307
Runs scored 989 24692
Batting average 44.95 56.37
100s/50s 2/6 72/109
Top score 175 285*
Balls bowled 97 8056
Wickets 1 133
Bowling average 39.00 34.59
5 wickets in innings 4
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 1/23 6/53
Catches/stumpings 13/– 233/–
Source: Cricinfo, 2 April 1933

Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Jadeja, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar (10 September 1872 - 2 April 1933) (known as K.S. Ranjitsinhji, Ranji or Smith)[1] was an Indian King and Test cricketer who played for the English cricket team [2] . He also played first-class cricket for Cambridge University, and county cricket for Sussex.

Ranji is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time,[3] Neville Cardus describing him as "the Midsummer night's dream of cricket". Unorthodox in technique and with fast reactions, he brought a new style to batting and revolutionised the game. Previously batsmen generally pushed forward; Ranji took advantage of the improving pitches of the time and relied on a back and across defensive stroke and played elegant strokes off the back foot in attack. He had a strong late cut and is noted for his popularisation or invention of the leg glance. The first-class cricket tournament in India, the Ranji Trophy, was named in his honour and inaugurated in 1935 by the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala.

Outside cricket, Ranji became Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar in 1907; was Chancellor of the Indian Chamber of Princes; and represented India at the League of Nations. His official title was Colonel H. H. Shri Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji, Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, GCSI, GBE. His nephew Duleepsinhji achieved similar fame as a batsman playing first-class cricket in England and for the English cricket team.[1]

Contents

Early life

Ranji was born in Sarodar, a small village in the western Indian province of Kathiawar (present day Gujarat state), into a wealthy Indian family of princely status. His clan, the Jadejas, were Rajput warriors. Ranji was educated at the prestigious Rajkumar College Rajkot and at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge University, where he arrived in 1891.[4]

Cricket career

Prior to his arrival at Cambridge, Ranji had never played an organised game of cricket. Nevertheless, he won a cricket Blue in his final year. After graduating, Ranji moved to play county cricket for Sussex. He played his first county match at Lord's in May 1895. C. B. Fry became a close friend. Ranji made his Test debut for England in 1896 becoming the first Indian to play Test cricket. His nephew, KS Duleepsinhji, also played for England later. Ranji scored 62 and 154 not out against Australia at Old Trafford in his first Test,[3] becoming the second batsman after W. G. Grace to score a century on his debut for England and also the first batsman to score 100 before lunch (on the third day, moving from 41 not out to 154 not out in just over 2 hours). He scored 175 in the first innings of his first overseas Test, also against Australia in 1897 (at that time it was the highest score that had ever been made for England in Test cricket). Ranji's feat of scoring hundreds in his debut home and away Tests was not emulated by any English player until Andrew Strauss in 2004, 108 years later.

Ranji scored runs very heavily in county and Test cricket between 1895 and 1904, passing 1,000 runs in 10 successive domestic seasons (over 3,000 runs in 1899 and 1900) and captaining Sussex from 1899 to 1903. In scoring 3159 first-class runs, average 63.18, from 58 innings for Sussex in 1899 he became the first man to score over 3,000 runs in an English first class season. In 1900 he scored 204 against Middlesex on a very difficult pitch on which only CB Fry of Sussex's other batsmen scored over 25. In 1903 against Sydney Barnes and Walter Brearley on a fiery wicket at Old Trafford the two batsmen shared in a stand of 196. Ranji stands alone in scoring a first-class hundred in each innings on the same day.

He returned to India at the end of 1904, but came back to play two further complete English seasons for Sussex (1908 and 1912), again scoring 1,000 runs each time. Ranji returned to England a final time to play in three matches for Sussex in 1920: aged 48, overweight, and blind in one eye after a shooting accident at Crosseliff in Yorkshire, he failed to achieve his former heights.

England team v. Australia, Trent Bridge 1899. Back row: Dick Barlow (umpire), Tom Hayward, George Hirst, Billy Gunn, J T Hearne (12th man), Bill Storer (wkt kpr), Bill Brockwell, V A Titchmarsh (umpire). Middle row: C B Fry, K S Ranjitsinhji, W G Grace (captain), Stanley Jackson. Front row: Wilfred Rhodes, Johnny Tyldesley.

Ranji played 15 Test matches for England between 1896 and 1902, scoring 989 runs with a batting average of 44.95. In all first-class cricket, he scored 24,692 runs in 307 matches, with an average of 56.37, including 72 centuries, with a highest score of 285 not out. Ranji was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1897, Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee year; in the same year, he published The Jubilee Book of Cricket.

Statesman

Ranji became Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar on 10 March 1907, and played an important role in improving the living conditions for the people of his home state. He transformed it by constructing the modern port at Bedi, a network of roads and railways, extensive irrigation works, hospitals and dispensaries along with a number of public and private buildings, laying out and rebuilding Jamnagar City and establishing bird and animal sanctuaries.

During the First World War, Ranji sent several squadrons of the Nawanagar Lancers to the Western Front, donating his entire fleet of cars and trucks to be used by the BEF as ambulances; he also donated his country house in England, Jamnagar House at Staines, to the British Government to be used as a hospital.

He became Chancellor of the Indian Chamber of Princes and represented India at the League of Nations after the First World War, being awarded the KCSI (1917) and the GBE (1919) He was promoted to the rank of Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India in 1923. Ranjitsinhi died in Jamnagar Palace, India in 1933, aged 60. As he had been unmarried, he was succeeded as Maharaja of Nawanagar by his nephew, K.S. Digvijaysinhji.

Titles

  • 1872-1898: Kumar Sri Ranjitsinhji Jivansinhji Jadeja (K.S Ranjitsinhji)
  • 1898-1899: Lieutenant Kumar Sri Ranjitsinhji Jivansinhji Jadeja
  • 1899-1907: Captain Kumar Sri Ranjitsinhji Jivansinhji Jadeja
  • 1907-1911: Captain His Highness Maharajadhiraj Maharaja Jam Sri Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Jadeja, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar
  • 1911-1914: Captain His Highness Maharajadhiraj Maharaja Jam Sri Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Jadeja, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, GCStJ
  • 1914-1915: Major His Highness Maharajadhiraj Maharaja Jam Sri Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Jadeja, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, GCStJ
  • 1915-1917: Major His Highness Maharajadhiraj Maharaja Jam Sri Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Jadeja, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, ADC, GCStJ
  • 1917-1918: Major His Highness Maharajadhiraj Maharaja Jam Sri Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Jadeja, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, KCSI, ADC, GCStJ
  • 1918-1919: Lieutenant-Colonel His Highness Maharajadhiraj Maharaja Jam Sri Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Jadeja, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, KCSI, ADC, GCStJ
  • 1919-1923: Lieutenant-Colonel His Highness Maharajadhiraj Maharaja Jam Sri Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Jadeja, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, GBE, KCSI, ADC, GCStJ
  • 1923-1933: Lieutenant-Colonel His Highness Maharajadhiraj Maharaja Jam Sri Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Jadeja, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, GCSI, GBE, ADC, GCStJ

Honours

See also

Notes

External links

Further reading

  • Satadru Sen Migrant Races: Empire, Identity and K.S. Ranjitsinhji (Manchester University Press, 2005)
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Billy Murdoch
Sussex county cricket captain
1899–1903
Succeeded by
C. B. Fry


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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

K. S. Ranjitsinhji (Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji Jadeja, Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, 10 September 18722 April 1933) was an Indian prince and Test cricketer who played for the English cricket team.

Sourced

The Jubilee Book of Cricket (1897)

  • On a treacherous wicket all the batsman can do is to watch the ball with all his might and let the bat follow the eye.
  • He revolutionised cricket. He turned it from an accomplishment into a science.
  • The game, whether it is called first-class or otherwise, is CRICKET, and any measure can only be a half-measure which aims at differentiating between the classes of cricket.

External links

Wikipedia
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