Ranjitsinghji appeared in 15 Tests for England, scoring 989 runs at an average of 44.95 © Getty Images
Ranjitsinhji appeared in 15 Tests for England, scoring 989 runs at an average of 44.95 © Getty Images

Sep 29, 2014

Maharaja Ranjitsinhji is alleged tp have fathered a an illegitimate son during his days in England, if the latest reports are to be believed. Ranji, as he was affectionately known, was alleged to have fathered a son with his Cambridge University tutor’s daughter over a century ago.

The affair between the ruler of Nawanagar and the tutor’s daughter was brushed under the carpet in order to avoid a controversy, according to a report by ‘The Sunday Times’.

According to the report, Ranji was said to have committed the act with one Edith Borissow, the eldest daughter of Reverend Louis Borissow, his tutor at Cambridge. This was said to have occurred in 1896, during which he made his debut for England against Australia, scoring 154 in his debut innings and went on to score 2780 runs in first-class cricket in the same season.

Borissow’s son Bernard Kirk was born on May 22, 1897, according to the birth certificate. The father’s name however, was not recorded in the certificate. Kirk was then adopted by one Paul Beardmore from Bradford, and he took his adoptive father’s surname. “My grandfather said that he was given for adoption through a reverend,” said Bernard’s grandson Sean Beardmore.

“Various bits of information have been passed down through the family about my great-grandad but the story with us was always that Ranji was his father – no doubt about it,” claimed his great-granddaughter Catherine Richardson.

Although there is no evidence of any communication between Ranji and Beardmore, Lord Hawke, then captain of the England cricket team, is said to have written Beardmore several letters and informed the latter of Ranji’s death in April 1933 at the age of 60.

Ranjitsinhji, after whom the Ranji Trophy is named, played 15 Tests for England, scoring 989 runs at an average of 44.95. He was the first Indian player to play for the English team and is widely considered as one of the greatest batsmen of all time.