Rajasthan Cricket Association was founded in 1931 at Ajmer and was earlier also known as the RAJPUTANA Cricket Association. It started participating in the Ranji Trophy tournament from 1935-36 and staged matches against a number of visiting foreign teams.
Shift, Final Name & Destination
In November 1956 the Headquarters of the Association shifted from Ajmer to Udaipur when his highness Maharana Bhatwat Singhji of Mewar became the President and who as a great Patron of the game revitalized the Association and brought the late Prince Duleep Singhji in September/October 1959 to Udaipur to impart the Finer points of the game to Rajasthan cricketers. In fact His Highness name goes in record book as the trophy given to Zonal Champion of Central Zone, which comprised of Rajasthan, Indian Railways, Vidarbha, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh was named “MEWAR” Trophy.
Finally the name of the Association changed to RAJASTHAN Cricket Association in 1957 and Headquarter office shifted to Jaipur. In early days of cricket in Rajasthan, cricket was basically played on matting wickets specially in Mayo College of Ajmer , Alwar and Udaipur districts.
The first visiting team that came to Ajmer after the formation of the Rajputana Cricket Association was that of team under D.R. Jardine in 1933. Rajputana scored its first victory against any visiting team, when they beat Lord Tennysons’s team by 2 wickets at Ajmer.
Initially in Rajasthan the education to how to learn tactics of cricket is started in Ajmer’s Mayo College which was established in 1875 and because of Central Indian Railway with their office and workshops of Loco & Carriage the large number of members of College and Railways mainly Englishmen played cricket there under the watchful eyes of the English staff.
As per records maintained in books 1st cricket match on the soil of Rajputana was played in 1887 between Mayo College and Govt. College at Ajmer. Rajasthan played its first Ranji trophy match at Indore on Dec. 19 to 21, 1935 and were defeated by 242 runs. And the first Ranji trophy match played on the soil of Rajasthan was played at Ajmer on Dec’ 3, 4 & 5, 1936 which they lost by 125 runs.
In Jaipur, Cricket was kept alive mainly by Ustad Azim Khan at JCC Ground. Azim Khan was a great bowler himself. His dedication at highest level showed in a marvelous fact that after each practice session he used to polish all old balls by color boot polish at the night to give new ball to youngster in next morning.
After the death of Ustad Azim Khan, N. D. Marshall, a retired Sr. NIS coach, started coaching in Jaipur for cricketers. He used to give coaching at SMS Stadium and St Xavier’s school.
From 1960 onwards, Rajasthan produced some outstanding cricketers like Salim Durrani, G.R. Sunderum, C.G. Joshi, Raj Singh Dungarpur, Hanumant Singh, Suryaveer Singh, Laxman Singh, Kailash Gattani, Parthsarthy Sharma, Gagan Khoda, Pankaj Singh & Ashok Menaria.
It was often seen that professional players like Vinoo Mankad, V.L. Manjrekar, S.P. Gupte, Praveen Amre, Sanjeev Sharma, Ashish Kapoor, Ajay Jadeja, Venugopal Rao & Hemang Badani were imported for maintaining the high standard of cricket in Rajasthan.
After the formation of District Cricket Association in Rajasthan, Sr. State Championship Colvin Shield was started in 1982.
Rajasthan entered in the finals of Ranji trophy for the 1st time in 1961. Rajasthan entered the Finals of National Championship 8 times and recently Rajasthan entered in the final of National Championship of Ranji trophy ‘Plate Group’.
The famous S.M.S. Stadium of Jaipur was inaugurated by Pt. Jawaher Lal Nehru on 4th November 1963. Rajasthan have the unique distinction to have 31 cricket grounds where matches conducted by BCCI & organized by RCA are played. Rajasthan has the unique record of having entered in Ranji trophy finals for record 9 times.
Detail of finals played by Rajasthan in Ranji trophy championships.