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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

‘Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium’ - Mohali

                               Very recently a couple of days back, shot into limelight in that famous chase over Gujarat Titans, they were at it again yesterday.  They joined forces when Punjab Kings were 114 for 6 halfway into the 16th over. The required rate at the time was 15.33 which soon shot up to 16.75 with 24 balls remaining. Different bowlers bowled each of those four overs, and each one of them was taken to the cleaners. 

It was also one of missed catches, though not all were easy !  Sunrisers Hyderabad dropped three catches of Ashutosh Sharma in the final over off which Punjab Kings needed 29 runs. Two of them went over the ropes for sixes and nearly turned the match. But when the third went down, only one delivery remained and Kings needed nine. Shashank Singh sent the last ball miles over the long-off boundary, but Kings fell short by just two runs in their chase of 183 to give Sunrisers their third win of the season.  It was Jaydev Unadkat who bowled that last over which went for 26. As fate would have it, it was Unadkat who Harshal Patel had dropped on the final ball of Sunrisers' innings and the ball had popped up over the rope for six.  The margin of two leaves lot of stories unfolding.  What a dream it would have been had Shashank and Ashutosh pulled off another heist like they did five days back against Gujarat Titans. But eventually, they were left with too many to get in the final over of the chase.


This match was played at Mullanpur and provided some opportunity to read some history through IPL.  Mullanpur is paet of Mohali district,  officially known as Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar district or SAS Nagar district, one of the twenty three districts of Punjab. It was formed in April 2006 as the 18th  district of Punjab, created next to Pathankot district. This district was carved out of areas falling in Ropar and Patiala District. It is situated next to the union territory of Chandigarh , Ambala And Panchkula district of Haryana. The district is officially named after Sahibzada Ajit Singh, the eldest son of Guru Gobind Singh. 

The match was played at ‘Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium’ in Mullanpur, Mohali, Punjab.  Mullanpur Garibdass is a town in Mohali district in   Punjab, north of the city of Mohali and Chandigarh. This town was founded by Garibdass, a commander of king Hathnoria Raja. The full name of the town is "Mullanpur Garibdass Da". Legend has it that Jayanti Devi, the Roop of Durga, asked Garibdass to fight against the cruel King to save civilians. Garibdass won the war and founded Mullanpur as the first village of his empire. 

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 know Indian politics well, Captain Amarinder Singh, Indian Army veteran who served as the 15th Chief Minister of Punjab, is the grandson of Bhupinder Singh. 

Yadavindra Singh GCIE GBE   was the ninth and last ruling Maharaja of Patiala from 1938 to 1971. He was also a diplomat, sports administrator and former cricketer who played in one Test in 1934.  He succeeded his father, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, as the Maharaja of Patiala on 23 March 1938.  Yadavindra served as president of the Indian Olympic Association from 1938 to 1960. He was instrumental in organizing the Asian Games. He was a noted horticulturist by passion and later served as chairman of Indian Horticulture Development Council. He was also the president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). 

He agreed to the incorporation of the princely state into India on 5 May 1948. He was Rajpramukh of the new Indian state of Patiala and East Punjab States Union until it was merged with Punjab in 1956. In 1956, Sir Yadavindra Singh donated the Anand Bhawan, a 150 bigha palace, to the Government of Punjab (before the creation of Himachal) for a holiday home for poor children, which was later leased out to Baba Ramdev for his Patanjali Trust.   Sir Yadavindra served as Indian Ambassador to Italy (1965–1966) and as Indian Ambassador to the Netherlands from 1971 until 17 June 1974, when he died suddenly in office at The Hague from heart failure, age 60. On specific instructions of Indira Gandhi, he was cremated with full state honours.

With regards – S Sampathkumar
10th Apr 2024.

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