In India, cricket is like religion. Perhaps the only religion that brings together people from different castes and creeds. But did you know that the first team from India that went to England had only Parsis in it. When cricket first began in India, Parsis were the first Indians to take up the sport and dominated it in Mumbai for more than a century. Here’s a look at 9 Parsis from the history of Indian cricket.
1. Nariman Jahangir Contractor
Top order left-handed batsman, Nariman Jahangir Contractor was the captain of India against Ted Dexter’s team in 1962. He had always been praised by Australian captain Richie Benaud.
2. Phiroze Edulji Palia
Left-handed batsman and spinner, Phiroze Edulji Palia played first test match for India against England in 1932. He was the First Class cricketer who took 208 wickets.
3. Rusi Framroze Surti
Popularly known as “Poor man’s Garry Sobers”, Rusi Framroze Surti was a left-handed top batsman, excellent fielder and medium pace bowler. He holds an outstanding record in First-Class cricket with 284 wickets in 37.07 overs with 10 five-wicket hauls.
4. Polly Umrigar
Pahlan Ratanji Umrigar, also known as “Polly” Umrigar was India’s best Test cricketer holding two greatest records: most runs and most centuries. He was debuted in 1948 and scored 3,631 at 42.22 overs with 12 centuries and 14 fifties. He was the first Indian to hit a double century in test cricket with an innings of 223 against New Zealand.
5. Farokh Engineer
Farokh Maneksha Engineer was the last Parsi to play Test cricket for the country. He was a star player during 1960 to 1975 and scored 13436 runs in 335 matches.
6. Rusi Modi
Debuted in 1946, Rusitomji Sheriyar Modi was the first man to score five centuries in a row and became the first man to score 1,000 runs in a Ranji season. Also, he played 105 First-Class matches, wherein he scored 7,529 runs at an average of 53.02.
7. Keki Khurshedji Tarapore
He was a left-arm spinner and had played only one Test match in 1948. He holds pretty good record in First-Class cricket. He took 148 wickets (40 matches) in 28.77 overs.
8. Sorabji Colah
Sorabji Hormasji Munchersha Colah had played some big hits and scored 69 runs in 17.25 overs.
9. Rustomji Jamshedji
He is the oldest Indian debutant in cricket who played his only Test at the age of 41 in 1933. He took 134 wickets and played 29 First-Class matches.