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  Friday, 19 July, 2002, 12:50 GMT 13:50 UK
The Indian legacy in English cricket
Indian-born Jardine was an England captain
Indian-born Jardine was an England captain

From Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji ('Ranji') to current captain Nasser Hussain, 16 Indian-born cricketers have represented England in Test cricket.

Hussain spent the first few years of his life in Madras, but he has made no bones that he feels English through and through.

And in these more enlightened times his accession to the top job in English cricket in 1999 was widely welcomed.

It was not always so.

Ranji's selection by England for the 1896 home series against Australia was opposed by some in the cricket establishment.

'Ranji' was compared to the great WG Grace
'Ranji' was compared to the great WG Grace

He was not selected for the first Test at Lord's, but such was the Indian prince's popularity that he was brought into the team by public and media demand and promptly scored 62 and 154 not out on debut in the second Test at Old Trafford.

With his flashing strokeplay and his exotic Eastern aura, Ranji was something of a cult figure even at a time when the legendary WG Grace was at his peak.

Like Hussain a century later, Ranji too swore allegiance to England and English cricket.

He had contempt for the attempts by his fellow Indians to play cricket and had no part in encouraging the game back home.

His nephew KS Duleepsinhji maintained the family tradition when he recorded a century in his first Test against Australia, making 173 and 48 at Lord's in 1930.

Like Ranji, he faced objections from the powers-that-be in English cricket.

Another Indian-born England captain was Douglas Jardine, who led the team on the infamous 'Bodyline' tour to Australia.

In the party was Iftiqar Ali Khan, the Nawab of Pataudi (father of Mansur Ali Khan), who made it a hat-trick of princely tons on debut with 102 in the first Test at Sydney.

Objection

But after just one more Test he was dropped for the rest of the series apparently on the grounds that he objected to the intimidatory tactics employed by his captain.

Pataudi senior is the only man to have represented both England and India in Tests, captaining the latter on their tour of England in 1946.

His son would lead India from 1962-70 and from 1974-75.

Many Englishmen were born in India during the days of the British Raj and this was the case with Jardine too.

Cowdrey: Son of an Indian teaplanter
Cowdrey: Son of an Indian teaplanter

Unlike Ranji, Jardine did much to encourage cricket in India. In fact, when it came time to choose a captain for India on their maiden tour to England in 1932 the names of both Duleep and Jardine were mentioned as candidates.

In more recent times, England were led by Colin Cowdrey, whose father was a tea planter in the hill town of Ootacamund in Tamil Nadu.

And opener John Jameson, who made his Test debut against the country of his birth in 1971, was the first English Test cricketer after Ranji and Duleep whose parents were both Indian.

In the first Test against India at Edgbaston in 1996 there were four Bombay-born players, three on the Indian side as well as spinner Min Patel making his debut for England.

Ironically, a world-record holder for over 100 years was also born in India but never even played first-class cricket.

628 not out

In June 1899, Arthur Edward Jeune Collins (born in India in 1885) scored 628 not out in a junior house match for Clarke's House against North Town while a schoolboy at Clifton College in Bristol.

It remains the highest score recorded in an organised cricket match.

He returned to India and played some cricket while serving with the Army. But his military career meant he had no time for top-level cricket.

Collins was killed in Flanders in 1914 during the First World War.


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