Mumbai has given India 82 international level cricketers © Getty Images, PTI
Mumbai has given India 82 international level cricketers © Getty Images, PTI

Maharaja Ranjitsinhji was born in Kathiawar. He had a glorified career playing for England and Sussex. A year after his death, Bombay lifted the first Ranji Trophy title. The competition was then between 14 sides including Gujarat, the state Kathiawar is situated in.

Add 73 years to that, Ranji Trophy has 21 teams including Saurashtra, a district that more precisely describes Kathiawar’s geographical position. Mumbai, on the other hand, have 41 titles, and playing their milestone 500th match.

Mumbai’s landmark Ranji Trophy matches

Match Opponent Captain Result
1 Gujarat Laxmidas Purshottamdas Jai Drawn
100 Gujarat Polly Umrigar Mumbai
200 Gujarat Vinoo Mankad Mumbai
300 Haryana Ravi Shastri Mumbai
400 Bengal Amol Muzumdar Mumbai

There is something special in the air of Mumbai. The fact that many aspirants come to the maximum city to make it large in cricket remains, but the Mumbai side comprises of those born in the city and fighting a bigger lot to make the cut. One such example is Sachin Tendulkar. Mumbai is not a team that has suddenly emerged in the scene. They are heavyweights who are armed with temperament, tenacity and consistency.

List of Ranji Trophy captains over the years

Name Season(s) won
Laxmidas Purshottamdas Jai 1934-35
Hormasji Naoroji Contractor       ——
Hormasji Jehangirji Vajifdar 1935-36
Vijay Madhavji Merchant 1941-42, 1944-45
Keki Khorshedji Tarapore              ——-
Khan Mohammad Cassambhoy (KC) Ibrahim 1948-49
Madhav Krishnaji Mantri 1951-52, 1955-56, 1956-57
Dattatreya Gajanan Phadkar       —–
Rustomji Sheriyar (Rusi) Modi     ——
Shrirang Wasudev (Ranga) Sohoni 1953-54
Pahlan Ratansi (Poly) Umrigar 1959-60, 1960-61, 1962-63
Gulabrai Sipahimalani Ramchand    ——
Madhav Laxman Apte 1958-59, 1961-62
Rameshchandra Gangaram (Bapu) Nadkarni 1963-64, 1964-65, 1965-66
Manohar Shankar Hardikar 1966-67, 1967-68
Ajit Laxman Wadekar 1968-69, 1969-70, 1971-72, 1972-73
Dilip Narayan Sardesai    ——
Sudhir Sakharam Naik 1970-71
Sunil Manohar Gavaskar 1976-77, 1983-84, 1984-85
Ashok Vinoo Mankad 1974-75, 1975-76
Milind Dattatreya Rege    ——
Eknath Dhondu Solkar 1980-81
Ravishankar Jayadrith Shastri 1993-94
Sandeep Madhusudan Patil    ——
Lalchand Sitaram Rajput    ——
Dilip Balwant Vengsarkar    ——
Shishir Shantaram Hattangadi    ——
Sanjay Vijay Manjrekar 1996-97
Chandrakant Sitaram Pandit    —–
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar 1994-95
Sameer Sudhakar Dighe 1999-00
Amol Anil Muzumdar 2006-07
Vinod Ganpat Kambli    ——
Rajeev Ramesh Kulkarni    ——
Paras Laxmikant Mhambrey 2002-03
Sairaj Vasant Bahutule 2003-04
Nilesh Moreshwar Kulkarni    ——
Wasim Abdul Jaffer 2008-09, 2009-10
Ajit Bhalchandra Agarkar 2012-13
Rohit Gurunath Sharma    ——
Zaheer Bakhtiyar Khan    ——
Aditya Tare 2015-16

Be it Vijay Merchant, the one to hold an astounding Ranji Trophy career average of 98.35 or Wasim Jaffer (who later joined Vidarbha), the most successful batsman with the highest runs and most number of centuries in the tournament history, Mumbai has produced an array of brilliant batsmen a good number of whom went on to represent the country.

Ranji Trophy 2017-18: Baroda match special for Mumbai, feels Aditya Tare
Ranji Trophy 2017-18: Baroda match special for Mumbai, feels Aditya Tare

Mumbai has also been a promoter of talented youngsters, giving chance to the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Prithwi Shaw at a tender age based on the talent they imbibed. The result is evident, as the former turned out to be the most accomplished cricketer born on the Indian soil, while the later, not even an adult yet, has already drawn comparisons with Tendulkar for his dominance in First-Class games.

Mumbai batsmen have been dominant in Ranji Trophy. Two of the most run-getters belong to Mumbai:

Player Runs Team
Wasim Jaffer 10,274 Mumbai, Vidarbha
Amol Muzumdar 9,202 Mumbai
Devendra Bundela 9,002 Madhya Pradesh

Mumbai cricketers have set a trend to hold a certain class in their game. Their brand of cricket is orthodox, eye-soothing yet holds parity with the changing time and style of the game. This distinct style has impressed the selectors from time to time, as a total of 82 Mumbai cricketers have represented India at the international level.

Mumbai’s 15 time back-to-back victories (from 1958-59 to 1972-73) is a record that is far from being broken. Till this day, Mumbai have not lost any of their landmark Ranji Trophy matches. Aditya Tare, who has already led Mumbai to a victorious campaign, will try to emulate the same in their 500th.

Mumbai are now chasing New South Wales’ (NSW) all-time record of winning 46 First-Class matches. Former captain Pravin Amre believes that Mumbai will soon break that, too.

“We know that NSW has won the most number of First-Class championships and after that it is Mumbai, and that’s the beauty of it. We would like to break NSW’s record as well,” Amre said in a press conference, reported sportswallah.com.

With a winning percentage of 47 in Ranji Trophy matches and 56.94 in the Ranji Trophy finals, Mumbai surely stands apart. In Amre’s words, “Mumbai is Mumbai and rest is India”.