Mumbai will play their 500th Ranji game when they take on Baroda at home on Thursday. The former state cricketers credited the Mumbai Ranji team for nurturing some of the finest players who have played for the country.
“The Mumbai (Bombay) Ranji team has nurtured some of the finest cricketers in the country. Many of us have learnt a lot by being a part of the Ranji tournaments getting the opportunity to play with and against the best cricketers in the country,” Sachin Tendulkar told PTI.
“Every Mumbai cricketer has taken great pride in wearing the lion-crested cap. Never taking it easy and the reluctance to rest on our past laurels has resulted in the Mumbai Ranji team being the force it is, over the years,” Tendulkar said.
Former India captain Ajit Wadekar said that it was “fun” playing for Mumbai as there was no space for complacency.
“It was fun to play for Mumbai and we had to keep the tradition of winning and that was challenging. We could not afford to be complacent. We never showed any sympathy to our opponents on the field and always used to go for the kill. The opposition were scared and that helped,” Wadekar recollected.
Wadekar recollected his favourite knock where he scored 150 against Karnataka against the likes of Erapalli Prassanna, Raghuram Bhatt and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and rated his innings as a memorable one.
“I scored 150 odd runs against Karnataka (Mysore then) on a square turner (Aakhada or mud-pit in cricketing lingo) in the second innings of the game. “When we were bowled out for 110 in the first innings and they were 160 all out. I played against the likes of Erapalli Prassanna, Raghuram Bhatt and Bhagwat Chandrasekhar on that type of wicket and hence that knock is the most memorable.”
Lalchand Rajput who played over 100 first-class matches said playing for Mumbai gave him a platform to make a name for himself.
“Whatever I am today is because of the opportunity I got to play for Mumbai in Ranji Trophy. Ranji Trophy is a platform for players to make a name and claim for national team earlier,” said Rajput.