From Moeen Ali to Ranji: Hindu-Muslim in cricketing diaspora

Sat, Aug 05, 2017 10:56 pm Posted: Cricketnmore Editorial
moeen ali
August 5 - When Moeen Ali completed his hat-trick by trapping South Africa's Morne Morkel leg before wicket in the third Test match at the Oval with his orthodox off-spin, he entered the record books on three counts.

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This was the first hat-trick in history at Surrey's famous cricket ground. The hat-trick also gave England victory, a record-breaking coincidence. Also, Moeen is the first cricketer of South Asia origin to have posted such a record -- at least since the princely order faded out. Not since Ranji, Duleep Singh ji and the Nawab of

Pataudi has a subcontinental cricketer inserted himself in British history books. Asked if he would ever play cricket in India, Ranji is reported to have grandly asserted: "Duleep and I are English cricketers." For that classy disdain, Ranji Trophy cricket was instituted in India in 1934. The year Ranji died, 1933, was, by a coincidence, historic for Indian cricket in another way: The first Test match was played at the Bombay Gymkhana. C.K. Nayudu captained India. The English captain happened to be D.R. Jardine, notorious for his bodyline series against Bradman's Australia.

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I find it difficult to resist a non-cricketing story about Ranji which I picked up during my travels across Ireland. After his cricketing days, Ranji took to hunting as a sport. A grouse shooting accident injured him in one eye.

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