Cricket: From 'a sport to a Profession' in India

Chapter - 02: Stepping milestones in Indian Cricket

02 Jul '24
6 min read


Chapter – 2

Stepping milestones for Indian Cricket


The first taste of Victory for Indian Cricket         


So far, we know where it all started, why, and how. Now, it is time to unravel the stepping milestones of Indian Cricket which had laid a foundation for cricket in India. Several years after partition, India wo

n the first test match in 1952 and it is hilarious that they beat England by an innings. How hilarious isn’t it? Just after the ruling period of the British empire and not to forget the sport was cultivated by them, then it was them whom we defeated to pen down it as our first-ever victory in the International Cricket arena. To beat a team which introduced to the world of cricket. That is something. Doesn’t it? However, the game was played in Madras, Chennai. The ground was filled with spectators. Eager to witness the game. It was the first big milestone in the international arena for Indian Cricket. 

It was truly a significant turnover for Indian cricket because of several things. Firstly, it was the victory and why is it so substantial for Indian cricket? It was just after partition when the country needed something to get united again, they had this sweet first victory which the whole country witnessed. It not only united people but also made people see the magic of cricket and excitedly the sport reached all parts of the country. As it was remembered as one of the great victories in Indian cricket, it also paved the way for some individuals who would be looked up by the people as heroes and idols for the coming periods. This event has given some individuals like Vinoo Mankad, Polly Umrigar, Pankaj Roy, Dattu Padhkar, Vijay Manjrekar, and Vijay Hazare some recognition in the nation for their contribution to this series. Later, their names were used by the BCCI for tournaments that would be played in the country as a domestic league. 


Domestic cricket in India


The Ranji trophy for national tournament

 After the partition, the Bombay Quadrangular tournament was stopped and paved the way for several other domestic tournaments such as the Ranji Trophy and the Duleep Trophy. The Ranji trophy was the national tournament that is being played from the 1958-59 and the Duleep trophy was the zonal tournament is being played from 1961-62. It was refining some fine talents, but most were from the west zone as the Bombay team had dominated the country's domestic cricket for almost a decade. They had challenges from Karnataka, Delhi, and other states but Bombay was the dominating force of that period. Between the 1960s and 1980s Indian cricket skyrocketed both domestically and internationally. 

The Duleep trophy for a zonal tournament


First-ever test series win 


Team India in 1971 in England after test series win against England | Image source: Internet

 In 1971, India beat England 1-0 in a three-match test series to clinch the series. It was recorded in the history of Indian cricket as the first-ever test series win. And again, whom did they beat? England.  The victory was not just a mere achievement for Indian cricket. It was their hard work. While on this tour they played 19 first-class matches before facing England in the series. Out of 19 matches they won 11, lost only one and the rest were drawn. You can imagine how they prepared themselves for the series win. Again, it showed the world of cricket that India is capable of defeating any team. This series of events again spotlighted some of the names that became the greatest of all time in the cricket world. The names like Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Vishwanath, Bishen Bedi, E.A.S. Prasanna, B.S Chandrashekar, and Srinivas Venkataraghavan. As one era of cricketing legends started to fade away another was just starting to make its mark in the world of cricket.


The first World Cup win - 1983

After that series win in India, cricket began to blend in with the culture. Every time India gets onto the field the emotions of the country would also be backing them from far away. In 1975 the World Cup tournaments started. This tournament was a hit instantly as it brought most countries to the cricketing world's spotlight.

               Going to the 1983 World Cup team India never looked like a champion team. It faced a lot of criticism as it went into the tournament. The team showed character and went on to stand on top of all the criticism they had faced before entering the tournament. We can call this World Cup win a game-changer for Indian cricket. Kapil Dev the winning captain of this world cup is still remembered as one of the greatest captains and one of the greatest all-rounders in the world of cricket. The country saw the victory and not just celebrated but also saw it as potentially a profession going forward. 

1983 World Cup Winning Team - India

               This victory for me is the foundation's strongest brick. It was not just a victory but at the same time, it attracted millions of Indians to take up the sport. The boom that is needed for Indian cricket. The period from 1970 – 1985 is called the Golden Era of Indian cricket. It saw and witnessed some of the greatest cricketers of all time. Although it was just the beginning of one of the greatest cricketing nation's stories.


1970s to 1985s

               The sport took off during this period. From first-ever test victory to first-ever World Cup. The journey had a lot of criticisms and questions were raised about the potential of the team in the world of cricket. At the same time, the country’s interest towards the sport had been elevating. The young, the old, the middle-aged, the poor, the rich, and everyone were showing a keen interest in and love for the sport. The sport gained popularity among the people drastically.

 Also, it was the same period when the Indian women’s team was first introduced. The test debuted in the year 1976 and the ODI debut was on 1St January 1978. This particular period was also called the Golden Era of Indian Cricket and they rightly said so. 

               The greats like Sunil Gavaskar, Vinoo Mankad, Gundappa Vishwanath, Bishen Bedi, E.A.S. Prasanna, B.S Chandrashekar, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Kapil Dev, Madan Lal, Roger Binny, and the list goes on. The impact they made on Indian cricket is inevitable. I believe they are the main pillars of today or even maybe forever until the sport is alive. 



Did you know?

  1. The Ranji Trophy from 1958–59 to 1972–73, Bombay won the title in all ten seasons of the period.
  2. The Ranji trophy was named after Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji and the Duleep trophy was named after his nephew Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji (1905–59).
  3. The first Cricket World Cup started in 1975 which took place in England and the mighty West Indies emerged victorious in the first ever World Cup tournament.
  4. The names that created a wave in domestic cricket back in the 1970s: Farokh Engineer, Dilip Sardesai, Bapu Nadkarni, Ramakant Desai, Baloo Gupte, Ashok Mankad and Ajit Wadekar.





Written by Prajwal Gowda

just spit it out man!