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Mahatma Gandhi’s cricket connection

Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi was born on 2nd October 1869 in Porbandar, Gujrat

#2. Gandhi is called to decide the fate of the communal tournament

Mahatma Gandhi called for abolishing the tournament based on religious lines
Mahatma Gandhi called for abolishing the tournament based on religious lines

Mumbai (then known as Bombay) was the ultimate centre of cricket in India before Independence in 1947. The city hosted India’s most famous cricket tournament which attracted cricketers and players from every part of the nation. The tournament began with the matches between Europeans and Parsis in 1877 at the Bombay Gymkhana. Hindus joined in 1906, Muslims were added in 1912 and a team named ‘Rest’ was added in 1937 to make it a pentangular tournament.

In 1940, the differences between the Hindu and Muslim community started growing. The famous cricket tournament that was being played on a communal basis was criticized while the Ranji Trophy which was played on the regional basis received tremendous support.

The PJ Hindu Gymkhana, home of the Hindu team, decided the consult the greatest power in India at that point, Mahatma Gandhi, to arrive at an opinion about participating in the Bombay Pentangular. The Mahatma announced his verdict against the communal tournament and expressed grief over the sport being mixed with religion. The Hindu team followed his words and did not participate in that year’s tournament. The competition was eventually abolished in 1946 with the escalating tension of the partition.

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Edited by Aadya Sharma
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