Cricket is the most popular sport in India, with roots believed to be dating back all the way to 1721. It is believed that the first form of Cricket was played by sailors and merchants onto ships as a way to entertain themselves while sailing. The first club was not established until 1792. Calcutta Cricket Club is the first Indian Cricket team and it was built where Eden Gardens now stand. The interesting thing about this club is that they only accepted European memberships. Fast forward five years and Bombay hosted the first ever match.
Indian Cricket supports say that Bombay was the first place where Indians officially began to play the beautiful game of Cricket. At the end of the 18th century, the Parsees took on the Eton Ramblers and in 1848 formed the Orient Club. Since the equipment was very expensive at that time for the Orient Club, most of their players were cast offs from the European club, Bombay Gymkhana.
It was 1877 that Indian Cricket started to grow, as the Parsees managed to beat the Europeans and book a tour for Australia and the British Isles. While the tour of Australia managed to break down, they did visit England and managed to win just one out of 28 games there. During the second visiting of the British Isles, the Parsees won two eight games out of 31.
The following years were described by Satta king as the deciding for the national sport. In 1889 an English amateur club traveled to play Cricket to India. They played European sides only, but they did play one match against the Parsees and lost only that game. In 1892, they came again and lost just two games, again losing one to the Parsees.
It was 1895 that competitive Cricket in India started with the first European v Indian match. This series was known as the Presidency Matches and it was the foundation for the creation of the professional competition. The first Cricket facilities were built, sides employed the best coaches, and in 1907 the Hindus joined the competition. Soon after that in 1912, the Mohammedans joined the competition and the Christians and Jews combined a side called “The Rest” and joined the competition in 1937. Then, with five sides the competition was formally known as the Pentangular.
While sides began to form and play each other, there was no real attempt to launch a national competition. The first national competition was formed in 1932 when India had their Test debut. Before that, it took the Indians two decades to get into the Test. In 1911, an all Indian side traveled to tour England with moderate success. It was the 1920’s when India was firstly persuaded by Arthur Gilligan that they might be ready to enter the Test.
However, there were many stumbling blocks as India didn’t have a central body for running the game. To overcome this huge problem, in 1928 the Board of Control for Cricket in India was formed and it was scheduled for India to make their debut in 1930 – 1931. The Test was delayed as the trip was canceled due to nationalist sentiment and activities at that time. But 18 months later, India joined the Test ranks and in 1934 they launched a national competition. The first Cricket arena was built in 1936 and it was named the Brabourne in Bombay – The Lord’s of India.