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Friday, December 2, 2022

Vijay Hazare 2022 - finals - Sourashtra ?!?!? = Kathiawar

At Perth on day 3 at lunch – West Indies were 150 for 1 (Brathwaite 62*, Blackwood 9*) trailing  Australia 598 for 4 dec by 448 runs.  Debutant Tagenarine Chanderpaul (yes son of Shivnarine Chanderpaul who aggregated more than 20000 International runs) fell after notching his half-century, but a gritty West Indies showed resolve against an accurate Australian attack on a pivotal day three of the first Test.  No. 3 Nkrumah Bonner retired hurt after being hit on the helmet from a Cameron Green bouncer, as captain Kraigg Brathwaite led their rear-guard on a pitch playing few tricks so far.  

Elsewhere at Rawalpindi, a  quartet of centuries helped England plunder a record 506 for 4 on the opening day to put the tourists in command of their first Test appearance in Pakistan for 17 years.  Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett, who put on a 233-run opening stand, were joined by Ollie Pope and Harry Brook - the latter playing just his second Test - in posting hundreds on a remarkable day in which England's run rate scarcely dipped below a run a ball as they became the first side to score 500 runs on day one of a Test.

When we grew up – Cricket was Ranji Trophy for the States, Deodhar / Duleep Trophy for the zones and Irani Cup between the winner of Ranji Vs Rest of India – there was also :Palayampatti shield for the 1st division in Chennai and .. MJ Gopalan Trophy between Ceylon and Tamil Nadu !.. .. life was interesting.

Now there is –‘Vijay Hazare Trophy’ , the Ranji One-Day Trophy, that was started in 2002–03 as a limited-overs cricket domestic competition involving state teams from the Ranji Trophy plates. It is named after the famous Indian cricketer Vijay Hazare.  Today is the finals – no Tamil Nadu, Mumbai, Delhi or Karnataka but finals between Maharashtra and Saurashtra ..  .. .. and I described Vijay Hazare Trophy as between State teams !?!? -   Saurashtra is no State !

Saurashtra  is a  language spoken primarily by the Saurashtrians of Southern India who migrated from the Lata region of present-day Gujarat to south of Vindhyas in the Middle Ages. Saurashtra, an offshoot of Sauraseni Prakrit  is now chiefly spoken in various places of Tamil Nadu and are mostly concentrated in Madurai, Thanjavur and Salem Districts.  A friend by name Murali studied with me in Hindu High School.  The language has its own script of the same name, but is also written in the Tamil, Telugu, and Devanagari scripts.  

Today they are in the finals of VH trophy -   Saurashtra's previous Vijay Hazare Trophy success came in the pre-IPL era, around the time Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja were beginning to make a mark in domestic cricket following their success at the India Under-19 level. Current captain Jaydev Unadkat, who hails from Porbandar, a town remembered by history as the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, was inspired by their heroics as he took to cricket. Both Pujara and Unadkat would make their Test debut two years after that Hazare triumph to put Saurashtra firmly on Indian cricket's map.  Jayadev  Unadkat has established himself as a domestic legend, spearheading a revolution in Saurashtra. In 2020, they won their maiden Ranji title with Unadkat picking up 67 wickets in the season, one short of the all-time record. It was the result of several years of trying and being blown away at the final hurdle, most notably twice against Mumbai.

When red-ball success was achieved, Saurashtra decided to rewrite their white-ball template. A team that didn't have a full-time fitness trainer until the start of this season vowed to become better tuned to the one-day game. Players who would take the safe option were told to be bold, while receiving unequivocal backing. Where teams struggle to have one seam bowling allrounder, Saurashtra have unearthed and nurtured two - Prerak Mankad and Chirag Jani. Unadkat too has reinvented himself as a handy lower-order hitter. In between, they've helped wicketkeeper Harvik Desai, who played a crucial part in India's Under-19 World Cup win in 2018, by backing him ahead of some tried and tested options. On top of all that, Sheldon Jackson is back.

Saurashtra were unlucky at the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s, where they dominated the group phase before enduring a final-over heartbreak against Mumbai in the quarter-finals. Here, in the 50-over tournament, they have set the record straight, comprehensively beating two white-ball giants Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.  Standing in their way is Maharashtra, fuelled by Ruturaj Gaikwad's glut of runs and their itch to win a maiden List A title. They may be in uncharted territory, but Maharashtra are riding a wave of confidence like never before, overcoming stiff competition from Mumbai and Bengal to come through the group stage unscathed.

Kathiawar  is a peninsula, near the far north of India's west coast, of about 61,000 km2 (23,500 sq mi) bordering the Arabian Sea. It is bounded by the Gulf of Kutch in the northwest and by the Gulf of Khambhat (Gulf of Cambay) in the east.   Kathiawar ports have been flourishing centres of trade and commerce since at least the 16th century.  Referred to as Saurashtra and as some other names as well over a period of time, since the Mahabharata and Vedic period, this region is mentioned again as Surastrene, or Saraostus in the first century CE Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: Saurashtra, also known as United State of Kathiawar, was a State of India that existed between 1948 and 1956.

Saurashtra State was originally named the United State of Kathiawar. It was formed on 15 February 1948, from approximately 200 large and small Princely States of the colonial Baroda, Western India and Gujarat States Agency of the British raj territory under direct colonial rule. The name of State was given after the Kathiawar and Saurashtra region, both of which generally denote the same geographical region of lands on the main peninsula of Gujarat. The persuasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the dominant force in ensuring most of the States of Kathiawar to join the Union of India and sign the Instrument of Accession. Patel met and managed to convince the local princes and petty subas, totaling 222 in Saurashtra region alone. Among these in Kathiawar Agency were 14 Salute states, 17 minor and 191 petty Non-salute Princely States and 46 Estates (Jagir-level). Most of the native rulers of the Kathiawar States entered into a Covenant for the formation of the United States of Kathiawar on 24 January 1948.

Interesting ! 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
2nd Dec 2022. 

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