Now, a Ranji Trophy in Ireland!

Annual tournament named in honour of Indians contributions

Now, a Ranji Trophy in Ireland!

Ranjitsinhji

Yes, the Ranji Trophy has found a home in distant Ireland.

Sunday’s match between an Irish and ‘Indian’ eleven will be played on the verdant and historic grounds of Trinity College Dublin, a 417-year-old university situated in the heart of the Irish capital. The rolling trophy was originally instituted by Anne Chambers, an Irish author who has written an acclaimed book on Ranji’s 1924 visit to Ireland. It was developed into a fully fledged trophy by India’s Ambassador in Dublin PS Raghavan who wants to see it as “a big event within the context of the growing ties between India and Ireland.”

“This match will now be part of the Irish cricket calendar,” said Raghavan, who has persuaded Trinity College Dublin to incorporate the event annually as part of a recently-established South Asia Initiative developing academic links with the Indian sub-continent. “It is in commemoration of Ranji’s ability to cross-over racial boundaries that on the publication of my book - Ranji: Maharajah of Connemara - I made available a trophy of Irish silver to be played between an Irish XI and a team comprising Indian nationals living in Ireland,” Chambers said. “I am delighted that this event is now incorporated into the more recently established South Asia Initiative at Trinity College Dublin with its aim of renewing and developing relationships between India and Ireland.

” When Ranji came to Ireland on July 17, 1924, he was already a cricketing legend and, as Maharaja of Nawanagar (a former princely state in what is now Gujarat), he became first head of state to make an official visit to the newly-founded Irish Free State.
Ranji’s subseqent purchase of a castle and estate in Connemara in western Ireland did much to boost the fledgling Irish state, as did his promotion of Ireland as a tourist haven, according Chambers. “Ranji and his Indian entourage settled with surprising ease into life in this remote part of .

The annual arrival of ‘the Ranji’ as he became known, was welcomed with great celebration by the local community to whom he became both a friend and a benefactor,” Chambers said.

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