Ranji Trophy 2022: Vishal Shrestha, Kolkata, India. However, though this game is called gentleman’s game in England, the father of cricket, it started as a game of royalty in India. KS Ranjit Singh, the Maharaja of Nawanagar, was the name given to the country’s first first-class cricket tournament. Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala donated the trophy for the first Ranji tournament in 1934-35.
Cricket has evolved from being a royal game to a game for the common man. There are also ministers whose names appear on the list of cricketers who have played in the Ranji Trophy. Manoj Tiwari is the most notable one. Manoj has become the first cricketer in the country to enter the first-class cricket tournament as a minister. During the match against Baroda at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on 17 February, he made this record. Bengal’s Minister of State for Sports, Manoj, is 36 years old. Only last year did he become a minister in the Mamta government.
By the way, Manoj is already a well-known name in Ranji cricket. More than one and a half decades into his career, he has played many Ranji Trophy seasons. So far, Manoj has played 125 first-class matches, including 100 Ranji matches. He has scored 8,965 runs at an average of 50.36 in first-class cricket, including 27 centuries and 37 half-centuries. 303 is his highest score. He was an important member of the Bengal team that won the Ranji Trophy in 2020. Till now, he has only played Ranji matches as a cricketer, but this season he will also play as a minister.
Manoj isn’t the first Minister of State for Sports in Bengal to play Ranji. Lakshmi Ratan Shukla played Ranji Trophy previously, but she was a minister before she played Ranji Trophy. Even before going into politics, he had said goodbye to cricket. As well as this, Manoj has decided to continue both his cricket and political careers. Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has also played Ranji cricket.
During the 2000-01 season, he played one Ranji match against Jammu and Kashmir for Himachal Pradesh. The match was captained by him. Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association was headed by Anurag Thakur at that time. The names of many cricketers who have become IPS-IAS have also been associated with the Ranji Trophy, such as Amay Khurasia and Joginder Sharma.
Ranji Trophy cricketers include many politicians of the present day, including Navjot Singh Sidhu, Muhammad Azharuddin, Gautam Gambhir, Kirti Azad, and Ashok Dinda among others.