Mumbai cricket is a factory. Cradle of Indian cricket which produces unique products in every era. The best born in that cradle is the one and only Sachin Tendulkar. The batting legends that Mumbai has produced in each era are those who dominated Indian cricket during those times. Without a doubt, Sachin would never have been able to reach the world stage at such a young age if he had not been born in a place like Mumbai.
Mumbai Cricket has the best governance system in the history of Indian sports. It is enough to look at their Ranji Trophy figures to see how far Mumbai is ahead of other teams. 44 finals were played. Crowned 41 times. And 14 of Iran’s Trophy wins. Good governance system, approach to cricket by new stars, bonding starts from school cricket. These are the factors that make Mumbai cricket feel like national cricket.
No one can claim the wealth of players and coaches that Mumbai cricket has. Vijay Merchant, Vinu Mankad, Madhav Mantri, Madhav Apte, Polly Umrigar, Naren Tamane, Vijay Manjrekar, Ajit Wadekar, Dilip Sardesai, Ramakant Desai, Subhash Gupte, Farooq Engineer, Vasu Paranjpe, Ashok Mankad, Sunilgsepil Gavasarkar, , Ravi Shastri, Sanjay Manjrekar, Sachin Tendulkar … the names are endless.
Perhaps it must be said that a group of coaches who love the game unselfishly are more responsible than the players for Mumbai cricket to reach its peak. Mumbai Cricket is a collection of coaches who go to great lengths to bring out the maximum potential of their children. While Sachin Tendulkar was traveling to the heights of world cricket, Dronacharya Achrekar’s name was also traveling around the world. Accharrekar’s name was not the only thing his disciples stood for, but also the legacy of Mumbai cricket.
Nowhere else in the world is school cricket given the same kind of importance as first-class cricket. School Level, College Level, Club Cricket, Inter Office Cricket Matches, First Class Matches. Cricket is in the blood of every Mumbaikar.
Children’s first steps into international cricket begin with the Under-14 Giles Shield and Under-17 Harris Shield tournaments. What sets Mumbai Cricket apart is the system where children’s abilities are explored from the school level. Club cricket opens the door for a young player directly to first class cricket. Things like timed field tournaments are often priced higher than first-class cricket. It has the best maturakal in the entire country. With corporations like Tata, State Bank, Mafatlal, Indian Oil, BPCL, Air India, ACC and Customs competing against each other, there are not many opportunities for emerging players.
When cricket is dead elsewhere during the monsoon, it comes alive in Mumbai. The matches played on pitches where there is rain are enhanced by the technical excellence of each batsman. Purushottam Shield, Talim Shield and Police Shield tournaments are also a platform for talented players to polish their skills. In the early days when cricket income was low, everyone was driven by passion for the game rather than financial security.
In 1934-35 under the wing of Vijay Merchant, Mumbai won their first Ranji title by defeating North India and defeated Madras in the final the following year. In the 1948-49 season, Mumbai cricket began to grow beyond imagination as they scored 614 in the first innings and 714 in the second innings in the semi-final against Maharashtra, becoming the only team to score more than 600 runs in both innings. . After winning 7 titles in their first 20 seasons, they won the title 20 times in 22 seasons from 1955-56 to 1976-77 and 15 times in a row from 1955-56 to 1972-73. Apart from 41 Ranji titles and 14 Iran victories, Mumbai cricketers have won Wills Trophy 8 times, Vijay Hazare Trophy 4 times and Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 title once.
Mumbai cricket has a habit of churning out talent in every era. Sunil Gavaskar, who took the world by storm with more than 10,000 runs and 34 centuries in Test cricket after leaving the arena created by Vijay Merchant, is believed to have had more strokes in hand than anyone who played in his front, inevitably. Sachin was emerging from the same Mumbai soil that produced Gavaskar, where it was believed that no one could make more headlines than the man who scored 13 Test centuries against Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Joel Garnell and Malcolm Marshall. For the next 24 years a nation waited for him to reach the crease. As he stood at the crease, crores of people held their breath. Bear was calling all his shots. Every time he went out, he looked down in frustration.
Sachin Tendulkar is also a gift to Mumbai’s cricketing heritage. No one deserves the legend Sachin Tendulkar as much as the people who love cricket so much and walk with it in their hearts.
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Last Updated March 25, 2023, 3:10 PM IST