Cricket in India
Eden Gardens under floodlights during a match.jpg
Governing bodyBoard of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)
National team(s)Men
First played1721[1]
Clubs38 (First class)
10 (IPL)
National competitions
Club competitions
International competitions
Audience records
Single match465,000 (Five-day Test)
India v. Pakistan at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, 16–20 February 1999[2]
Season1,592,543 (Total)
26,528 per match
2017 IPL[3]

Cricket is the most popular sport in India by far,[4] and is played almost everywhere in the country.[5] The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the governing body of Indian cricket and conduct all domestic tournaments and select the players for India national cricket team and India women's national cricket team.

Domestic competitions in India include the Ranji Trophy, the Duleep Trophy, the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the Deodhar Trophy, the Irani Trophy and the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy. The Indian Premier League, a Twenty20 tournament where various city franchises compete in a style similar to club football, is one of the biggest sporting leagues and the biggest cricketing league in the world.

International cricket in India does not follow a consistent pattern, unlike other cricketing teams such as England, who tour other countries during the winter and play at home during the summer. The Indian cricket team is one of the most successful cricket teams in the world, having won 2 ICC World Cups, 1 ICC World Twenty20, 2 ICC Champion's Trophies and finished runners up in the inaugural edition of the ICC World Test Championship. The 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup, was initially meant to be hosted by India. However, after the escalation of the COVID-19 Pandemic in India, the tournament was moved by the ICC to the United Arab Emirates. The 2023 Cricket World Cup will be hosted by India.

Cricket is an important part of Indian culture[citation needed]and top players, like Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma often attain celebrity status and are some of the most influential figures in the country. The Indian team shares a long-standing rivalry with the Pakistani team, and India-Pakistan matches are some of the most anticipated matches in the world, and one of the most watched television broadcasts in the world.


The British brought cricket to India in the early 1700s, with the first documented instance of cricket being played is in 1721. It was played and adopted by Kolis of Gujarat because they were sea pirates and outlaws who always loot the british ships so East India Company tried to manage the Kolis in cricket and been successful.[6][7]

1800s to 1918

Main article: History of cricket in India to 1918

The first ever match of first-class cricket played in India was in 1864 between Madras and Calcutta. Not many records exist from the match.

Ranjitsinhji was regarded as one of the best batsmen of his time.
Ranjitsinhji was regarded as one of the best batsmen of his time.

The entire history of cricket in India and the sub-continent as a whole is based on the existence and development of the British Raj via the East India Company.

1918 to 1945

Main article: History of cricket in India from 1918–19 to 1945

India became a member of the 'elite club' joining Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand and the West Indies in June 1932. India's first match in Lord's against England attracted a massive crowd of 24,000 people as well as the King of the United Kingdom.[8]

1945 to 1960

Main article: History of cricket in India from 1945–46 to 1960

The major and defining event in the history of Indian cricket during this period was the Partition of India following full independence from the British Raj in 1947.

An early casualty of change was the Bombay Quadrangular tournament, which had been a focal point of Indian cricket for over 50 years. The new India had no place for teams based on ethnic origin. As a result, the Ranji Trophy came into its own as the national championship. The last Bombay Pentangular, as it had become, was won by the Hindus in 1945–46.

India also recorded its first Test victory in 1952, beating England by an innings in Madras.[8]

1960 to 1970

Main article: History of cricket in India from 1960–61 to 1970

One team totally dominated Indian cricket in the 1960s. As part of 14 consecutive victories in the Ranji Trophy from 1958–59 to 1972–73, Bombay won the title in all ten seasons of the period under review. Among its players were Farokh Engineer, Dilip Sardesai, Bapu Nadkarni, Ramakant Desai, Baloo Gupte, Ashok Mankad and Ajit Wadekar.

In the 1961–1962 season, the Duleep Trophy was inaugurated as a zonal competition. It was named after Ranji's nephew, Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji (1905–59). With Bombay in its catchment, it is not surprising that the West Zone won six of the first nine titles.

1970 to 1985

Main article: History of cricket in India from 1970–71 to 1985

Bombay continued to dominate Indian domestic cricket, with only Karnataka, Delhi, and a few other teams able to mount any kind of challenge during this period.

India enjoyed two international highlights. In 1971, they won a Test series in England for the first time ever, surprisingly defeating Ray Illingworth's Ashes winners. In 1983, again in England, India were surprise winners of the 1983 Cricket World Cup under the captaincy of Kapil Dev.

During the 1970s, the Indian cricket team began to see success overseas beating New Zealand, and holding Australia, South Africa and England to a draw. The backbone of the team were the Indian spin quartet – Bishen Bedi, E. A. S. Prasanna, BS Chandrasekhar and Srinivas Venkataraghavan, giving rise to what would later be called the Golden Era of Indian cricket history. This decade also saw the emergence of two of India's best ever batsmen, Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Vishwanath responsible for the back-to-back series wins in 1971 in the West Indies and in England, under the captaincy of Ajit Wadekar.[9]

The Indian women's team made its test debut in 1976, becoming the third nation to do so. It made its ODI debut on 1st January 1978.

1985 to 2000

Main article: History of cricket in India from 1985–86 to 2000

From the 1993–94 season, the Duleep Trophy was converted from a knockout competition to a league format.

Several team names and spellings were altered during the 1990s when traditional Indian names were introduced to replace those that were associated with the British Raj. Most notably, Bombay became Mumbai and the famous venue of Calcutta became Kolkata, both where the main places where the British did all their business.

During the 1980s, India developed a more attack-focused batting line-up with talented batsmen such as Mohammad Azharuddin, Dilip Vengsarkar and Ravi Shastri prominent during this decade. Despite India's victory in the Cricket World Cup in 1983, the team performed poorly in the Test arena, including 28 consecutive Test matches without a victory. However, India won the Asia Cup in 1984 and won the World Championship of Cricket in Australia in 1985. The 1987 Cricket World Cup was held in India.[9]

21st century

Main article: History of cricket in India from 2000–01

Sachin Tendulkar is one of the greatest cricketers of all time. He is known as the 'God of Cricket'.
Sachin Tendulkar is one of the greatest cricketers of all time. He is known as the 'God of Cricket'.

Sachin Tendulkar was one of the key members during 1989–2013 for Team India in multiple formats.

Since 2000, the Indian team underwent major improvements with the appointment of John Wright, India's first ever foreign coach. This appointment met success internationally as India maintained their unbeaten home record against Australia in Test series after defeating them in 2001 and won the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in 2007. India was also the first sub-continental team to win at the WACA in January 2008 against Australia.[9]

India's victory against the Australians in 2001 marked the beginning of a dream era for the team under the captainship of Sourav Ganguly, winning Test matches in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies and England. India also shared a joint victory with Sri Lanka in the ICC Champions Trophy, and went on to the finals in the 2003 Cricket World Cup only to be beaten by Australia.[9]

In September 2007, India won the first ever Twenty20 World Cup held in South Africa, beating their arch-rivals Pakistan by 5 runs in a thrilling final.[10]

India won the Cricket World Cup in 2011 under the captainship of Mahendra Singh Dhoni,[8] the first time since 1983 (28 years) – they beat Sri Lanka in the final held in Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.[11]

India played its 500th Test match against New Zealand led by Kane Williamson at Kanpur from 22 - 26 September 2016.[12] India won this match by 197 runs. This test was played under the captaincy of Virat Kohli.

Currently, they are first in the 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship with 490 points and a PCT (percentage of points) of 71.They will play their final test in the 2019-21 ICC World Test Championship (which is also the final test in the 2021 Anthony De Mello Trophy) They played in their first series of the 2020-22 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League against the Australia national cricket team winning only one match and being fined 1 point for a slow over rate having only 9 points and being seventh in the league.

Organisation of cricket in modern India

International cricket

Main articles: India national cricket team and India national women's cricket team

Mithali Raj is the highest run-scorer in women's international cricket.[13][14]
Mithali Raj is the highest run-scorer in women's international cricket.[13][14]

International cricket in India generally does not follow a fixed pattern. For example, the English schedule under which the nation tours other countries during the winter and plays at home during the summer. Generally, there has recently been a tendency to play more one-day matches than Test matches. Cricket in India is managed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the richest cricket board in the cricket world, yet, average cricket fans cannot get hold of tickets to see matches, much of which are distributed as largesse.[15] The Indian national cricket team has also provided some of the greatest players to the world, the biggest example of which is Sachin Tendulkar. Indian cricket has a rich history. The Indian national team is currently ranked No. 1 in Tests, No. 2 in ODIs and at 2nd position in T20Is. India has won two World Championship cups in 1983 under the captaincy of Kapil Dev and recently won in the year 2011 under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, which is won after a span of 28 years. They also won the World Championship of Cricket in 1985.

First class competitions

Limited overs competitions

Twenty20 competitions

In Twenty20, stronger crowd participation was seen than in other forms of the game. It has been greatly acknowledged by people and has made huge profits.

Youth competitions

Women's domestic competitions

List of domestic cricket leagues

Cricket is the staple game in India for several people of all ages. Here, young boys are seen playing a friendly game.
Cricket is the staple game in India for several people of all ages. Here, young boys are seen playing a friendly game.


Further information: List of Cricket Stadiums in India

India have plethora of international standards Cricket stadium. World's largest stadium, Narendra Modi Stadium is present in India, Eden Gardens of Kolkata is the 3rd largest cricket stadium in the world is situated in West Bengal. The domestic cricket governing bodies such as Mumbai cricket association, Maharashtra cricket association control cricket realated activities sanctioned tournaments in Mumbai and Maharashtra respectively. India's each state have a domestic cricket board that administrator cricket in that state. Also regions, cities and Union Territories (UT) such as Vidharbha, Saurashtra and (former Princely state) Vadodara, Haydrabad and UT Pondicherry, Chandigarh respectively have cricket board. The domestic boards are affiliated to BCCI. While district cricket boards in the country are affiliated to state bords. The country has lots of private cricket academies and clubs. The worlds 3rd largest cricket arena being built in Jaipur. [19] MRF Pace Foundation provide facilities to fast ballers.

See also


  1. ^ Downing, Clement (1737). William Foster (ed.). A History of the Indian Wars. London.
  2. ^ "Largest attendance at a five-day Test match". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Top 10 Sports Leagues With Highest Average Attendance". 11 February 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  4. ^ "Top 10 Most Popular Sports in India". Archived from the original on 22 June 2018. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Ipsos – Nobody's unpredictable". Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  6. ^ Downing, Clement (1978). A History of the Indian Wars. p. 189. OCLC 5905776.
  7. ^ Drew, John (6 December 2021). "The Christmas the Kolis took to cricket". The Daily Star. Retrieved 5 December 2021.
  8. ^ a b c "BBC World Service | Story of Cricket". BBC. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  9. ^ a b c d "India National Cricket Team | | Cricket News | Series | Live Score | Players | Grounds". 6 December 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  10. ^ "Final: India v Pakistan at Johannesburg, Sep 24, 2007 | Cricket Scorecard". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  11. ^ "Team India at T20 Cricket World Cup". Archived from the original on 7 March 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Full Scorecard of India vs New Zealand 1st Test 2016/17 - Score Report |". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  13. ^ "Record-setting Raj top of the women's charts". ESPN Cricinfo. Archived from the original on 13 July 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Mithali Raj becomes leading run-scorer in women's ODI cricket; surpasses England's Charlotte Edwards". Indian Express. 12 July 2017. Archived from the original on 13 July 2017. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Complimentary passes restricted for Delhi Test". ESPNcricinfo. 21 November 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  16. ^ a b "T20 History: History of T20 Cricket". Archived from the original on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  17. ^ "Top 10 most watched sports leagues in the world". 11 January 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  18. ^ "The Home of CricketArchive".
  19. ^ Retrieved 19 May 2022. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)

Further reading