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Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Tale of Captains - some have it easy !!

 At the time of posting this @ 8pm, the India – SA match is interestingly poised – not a match report, but something on Captain !!

Fortunes in life keep changing ! (for some) .. .. .. when the going gets tough, the tough gets going ! – otherwise wait for the tide !! – know or heard of the Maharaja of Patiala ?  Decades before India played their first test – a team departed Bombay on 6 May 1911 from Ballard Pier, seen of by a large crowd, and reached Marseille two weeks later. They covered the further journey to London by train. Their Captain  covered the trip in a deluxe train and got off at Charing Cross, the rest of the team members covered this journey in a regular train.  The Captain stayed at a private villa, the rest of the Indian team stayed at the Imperial Hotel

Capt. Amarinder is suave .. .. strong –   in 1992, he broke away from Akali Dal, formed a splinter group, was defeated securing only 856 votes. Later merged his party with Congress  - became the Chief Minister of Punjab from 2002 to 2007 and again from 2017 till 2021.  His father was the last Maharaja of the princely state of Patiala.  He had earlier  served in the Indian Army from 1963 to 1966.  On 18 September 2021- now has a great chance of becoming the CM again though heading a different coalition.   Campaigning,  Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said his party’s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal-Sanyukt was in the national and state’s interest. Addressing a public meeting after inducting senior Congress leader Raj Numberdar into the party, Amarinder said, Punjab was faced with multiple challenges, particularly on the security and economic front. “I found the BJP as the only party that can take care of both things,” he said, while adding, he was glad to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Punjab tomorrow at Ferozepur.

AT Wanderers, a new Captain was pitch-forked into reckoning. .. .. from the time, we watched Test Cricket – there have been many Captains – from Ajit Wadekar, S Venkatraghavan, Sunil Gavaskar, Bishan Bedi, Gundappa Vishwanath, Kapil Dev, Vengsarkar, Ravi Shastri, Krish Srikkanth,  Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Anil Kumble, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane  . .. ..

Sometime back, he was a not a regular in the X1, though immensely talented – politics over Virat and his sudden injury, Rohit’s injury, Ajinkya’s continued poor form – all ensured that KL Rahul could lead the Team .. .. and suddenly, one finds country’s premier Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin becoming a certainty in all 3 formats – which an year back looked remote possibility.  Ashwin scored with the bat too, outscored Pant in their partnership.    So on Monday (4.1.2022) KL Rahul, already named Captain for 3 match ODI series became the 34th Captain to lead the Nation in the longest version.  He won the toss and whether would be lucky enough to win the test remains to be seen .. .. Rahul is also the 4th  India Test captain from Karnataka after Gundappa Viswanath, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble.

Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh or Bhuppi GCSI GCIE GCVO GBE (1891 – 1938) was the  Maharaja of the princely state of Patiala in British India from 1900 to 1938.   He served on the General Staff in France, Belgium, Italy and Palestine in the First World War as an Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel, and was promoted Honorary Major-General in 1918 and Honorary Lieutenant-General in 1931. He represented India at the League of Nations in 1925, and was chancellor of the Indian Chamber of Princes for 10 years between 1926 and 1938, also being a representative at the Round Table Conference.  Maharaja Bhupinder Singh was the first man in India to own aircraft, which he bought from the United Kingdom in 1910. For his aircraft he had an airstrip at Patiala built.

The Indian cricket team touring England and the British Isles in the summer of 1911 was the first all-Indian team to tour the country. When the organizers of the tour were putting together the team, their first choice of a captain was Ranjitsinhji, the Jam Sahib, who by the time had been instated as the ruler of Nawanagar in 1907. However, Ranji was keeping away from organized cricket in British India, having been called out for his administrative lapses in tackling the plague and subsequent drought that had afflicted his state.  Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh,  was chosen as the captain of the team. The team had limited success winning only two amongst the 23 matches that they played on the tour.

Maharaja Bhupinder was much acclaimed – he led the team, played 27 first class matches, played as member of  Marylebone Cricket Club; donated the Ranji Trophy in honour of Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji, Jam Sahib of Nawanagar. He was selected as the captain of India on its first Test tour of England in 1932, but dropped out for reasons of health two weeks before departure and the Maharaja of Porbandar took over. Most of the buildings of Chail Military School were donated by Maharaja of Patiala to the government of India. Sir Bhupinder Singh founded the State Bank of Patiala in 1917. He served as the Chancellor of Chamber of Princes from 1926 to 1931.  

His elder son, Maharaja Yadavindra Singh and younger son Raja Bhalindra Singh both played first-class cricket, Yadavindra  played in one Test for India, in 1934. Yuvraj Yadavindra Singh became the Maharaja on 23 March 1938. He was to be the last Maharaja, agreeing to the incorporation of Patiala into the newly independent India on 5 May 1948, becoming Rajpramukh of the new Indian state of Patiala and East Punjab States Union. Now if you still remember, the 2nd para, Captain Amarinder Singh – is the grandson of Bhupinder Singh. 

Elsewhere, Bangladesh, a team at the lowest of ebbs only last month when they were swept at home by Pakistan, took a giant leap defeating the world champions, the mighty New Zealand, by eight wickets in the first Test in Mount Maunganui. Their hero was an unlikely pacer - Ebadot Hossain whose bowling did the trick.  It's the first time Bangladesh have beaten New Zealand in Tests, ending the hosts' 17-match unbeaten home record. This is also the first time Bangladesh have beaten New Zealand in any format in New Zealand. It's Bangladesh's sixth overseas Test win – anywhere. Ebadat Hossain Chowdhury's journey from being a volleyball player for Bangladesh Air Force to becoming a Test cricketer started a couple of years back only.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
5th Jan 2022.




  1. Great Article with lots of info. Thanks SS Sir. Enjoyed reading.

  2. Great Article with lots of info. Thanks SS Sir. Enjoyed reading.