Cricket, now termed as the unofficial national sport of India, has got an old history associated with its existence in the country. The oldest references to the sport in India can be dated as early as the year 1725 when some sailors played a friendly match at a seaport in Kutch. By the year 1792, the Calcutta Cricket and Football Club had been formed, and a yet another Cricket club had been formed at Seringapatam by the year 1799.
Beginning of First class Cricket
As far as the beginning of First class Cricket in India is concerned, it was marked by a match played between Madras and Calcutta in the year 1864. In the year 1877, the Bombay Presidency Match was played for the first time. Later, it first changed into the Bombay Triangular and then the Bombay Quadrangular. In the year 1892-93 it was awarded with the First class status.
First foreign team arrives at India
In the year 1889-90 an English team arrived at India. The captain of this team was George Vernon, which eventually was the first foreign Cricket team to arrive India, although the matches that it played over here are not considered to be First class Cricket matches.
In the year 1892-93 two matches had been played between Europeans team and Parsees team at Bombay (now Mumbai) and Poona (now Pune). This is considered to be the regular beginning of First class Cricket in the country. After this, four First class matches were played between an English team led by Lord Hawke and an All India team between 26th and 28th of January 1893.
The Bombay Presidency Saga
Bombay Presidency Matches were played since 1892-93 till 1906-07. In the year 1907-08 the name of these matches was changed to Bombay Triangular Matches, which continued till the year 1911-12. Since the year 1912-13 the Matches came to be known as Bombay Quadrangular Matches, only to be changed again in the year 1937-38 into Bombay Pentangular Matches.
Ranji Trophy was yet another leg of First class Matches in Indian Cricket, which began in the year 1934-35 and still continues today. The Bombay team was the winner of first two Ranji Trophy championships.
Indian Cricket team in international arena
As far as the presence of Indian team in the international Cricket arena is concerned, the team played the MCC tour since October 1926 till February 1927. Within the tour, the Indian team played 26 First class matches in India and 4 First class Matches in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Captain of the team was Arthur Gilligan, which included Andy Sandham, Arthur Dolphin, Bob Wyatt, George Geary, Ewart Astill, George Brown and Maurice Leyland as the other players.
The Indian team started playing Test Cricket in the English Season of the year 1932. The team played against the English team at Lordís Cricket Ground. The English team defeated the Indian team in the match by 158 runs.
Continuing its presence in the International Cricket arena, Maharaj Kumar of Vizianagaram (real name Lt. Col. Sir Vijayananda Gajapathi Raju) formed his own team of accomplished Cricket players including Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe. The team visited Ceylon and played some matches in India too during 1930-31.
The Post Independence Era
After gaining independence, India made its first ever Test Series victory against the arch rival Cricket team of Pakistan in the year 1952. The victory gave a great boost to the game in the nation, as some of the All Time Gems of the Indian Cricket showed their remarkable skills during this Test Series. These players included Vijay Manjarekar, S.M.Gupte and Polly Umrigar.
Over the next decade of 1960ís the Indian Cricket team proved its strength upon the home ground as well as upon foreign pitches too. During this decade, the team defeated New Zealand and stretched the matches with teams such as England, Australia and Pakistan to a draw.
During the decade of 1970ís, the Indian Cricket team got one of its most cherished possessions of all times Ė The Spin Quartet comprising of E.Prasanna, B.S.Chandrasekhar, Srinivas Venkataraghavan and Bishan Singh Bedi. Apart from them, the Indian Cricket team also got two of its most gifted Batsmen of all times during the decade of 1970ís itself Ė Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Vishwanath.
The decade of 1980ís saw the Indian Cricket team scaling new heights in the One Day International (ODI) Cricket, and under the captainship of Kapil Dev, the team even managed to grab the 1983 Cricket World Cup. A number of accomplished players such as Kapil Dev, Madan Lal and Mahinder Amarnath made their presence felt during the decade.
If there has to be taken one name for whom the 1990ís decade of Indian Cricket shall always be remembered, it would surely be none other than the same of Sachin Tendulkar. Still playing for team India and considered to be one of the All Time Greatests of the World Cricket, Sachin simply outclassed every other Batsmanís record, and the saga still lingers on. Apart from Sachin, some other wonderful Cricket players such as Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly and Javagal Srinath emerged in the Indian Cricket team in the decade of 1990ís, and paid their contribution in getting the Indian team clinching several international championships during the period.
The Cricket team of India continued to show its brilliant performance in the new millennium, and the new youthful squad has seen some new faces and remarkable victories. The new talented players who joined the team include Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the new captain of the Indian Cricket team both in Test Cricket and One Day International (ODI) Cricket, S.Sreesanth, Munaf Patel, Suresh Raina, Gautam Gambhir, Irfan Pathan and Yousuf Pathan among others. Under the enthusiastic captainship of Dhoni, the new young team successfully won the first Twenty-20 Cricket World Cup held in the year 2007.