Ranji Trophy History and records| Most runs, wickets, hundred and more

Just entering its 90th year, the Ranji Trophy is the star attraction for all cricket lovers in India. This oldest Indian domestic cricket competition has been ongoing since the 1934-35 season.

A very important fact about the Ranji Trophy is that it is the only First-Class tournament in the world to have survived World War II. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) organizes the Ranji Trophy annually.

Teams for this trophy are drawn or selected from regional and state cricket associations, with matches held in different stadiums and grounds across India.

At the time of the tournament’s foundation, it was named The Cricket Championship of India. However, it was renamed after the Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, Ranjitsinghi (in 1935): His Highness Colonel Shri Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji II. He ruled Nawanagar (present-day Gujarat), a princely state during British times, from 1907 to 1933. As he was popularly known as Ranji, the tournament assumed this name.

The Ranji Trophy comprises 38 teams: 28 Indian states, four Union Territories, and two pan-India associations—Railways and Services. The remaining teams include Saurashtra (Kathiawar/Nawanagar), Vidarbha, Mumbai (Bombay), and Baroda.

Ranji Trophy’s History

When we delve into the history of the Ranji Trophy, we find that the first milestone for BCCI was created in 1927. Anthony Stanislaus de Mello, R.E. Grant Govan, and the Maharaja of Patiala deserve thanks, along with Arthur Gilligan, the Captain of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), who was visiting India.

At a meeting held in February 1927 at the Roshanara Club in Delhi, de Mello, Grant Govan, and the Maharaja of Patiala decided to form a Board. Gilligan pledged his support on behalf of the MCC.

Milestones in Ranji Trophy’s history:

November 22, 1927: The final decision to form the Board was taken at a meeting attended by representatives of various Princely states and provinces.

December 1928: BCCI was founded at a meeting at Roshana Club in Delhi. Grant Govan became the (First) President, and de Mello became the Secretary.

1929: De Mello and Grant Govan went to England to organize tours of India by the South Africa team.

May 1929: De Mello and Grant Govan represented India at the Imperial Cricket Conference (England), making BCCI a global face.

1930-31: A tour of India by the MCC was organized. Note: Though both the India tours by South Africa and Australia were finally canceled, the run of the BCCI began successfully.

July 1934: BCCI proposed launching the competition during a meeting in Simla.

1934-35: The first BCCI fixtures took place under the banner of The Cricket Championship of India (which later changed to BCCI).

November 1934: The first match was held on November 4, 1934, at the Chepauk Stadium in Chennai (then Madras) between Madras and Mysore.

Who was Ranjitsinhji?

The trophy of the tournament was donated by the Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh. The trophy, still running today, is in memory of His Highness Colonel Shri Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji II, who died in 1933. Ranji, the Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, is considered the father of Indian cricket.

Jam Sahib was the first-ever Maharaja of a State and also the first Indian to play at international cricket tournaments. As an unorthodox batsman, he developed his own style, which is still being replicated today by other cricketers in India.

Participating in international matches since 1893, Jam Sahib established himself as one of the greatest batsmen of his time. He distinguished himself in matches for Cambridge University, Sussex, London Country, and in 15 Test Matches for England. Ranji, the Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, continues to remain the spirit of the BCCI.

Ranji Trophy Records: Key Records, Facts and Stats | 2023 Updated

As every year, several teams battle it out for the penultimate glory in the Indian domestic cricket, several records are made and broken. From teams scoring highest score in an inning, to curtailing their opponent to the smallest total.

Individual records are threatened every year with players scoring and piling on runs in the longest format of the game. Hence, it becomes important to keep a track on the key records, facts and stats of Ranji Trophy.

Highest Team Score in Ranji Trophy:

To this day, Hyderabad maintains the Ranji Trophy record for the highest team total in any match. During the 1993-94 Ranji season, Hyderabad, led by the then-captain Kanwaljit Singh, posted 944/6 against Andhra and declared the innings. Maturi Sridhar played a magnificent knock of 366 off 523 in the match and remained the top-scorer in this drawn encounter. Interestingly, even after 30 years, no team has been successful in breaking Hyderabad’s record. So, it would be interesting to see if any Ranji team finally succeeds in breaking Hyderabad’s 944-run innings record this Ranji season or not!

Coincidentally, the below-mentioned records are only the three times in this prestigious trophy that a team has ever been able to reach the 900-run mark in an innings. However, on four occasions, Ranji teams have crossed the 800-run marks for their sides.

TeamAgainstTeam TotalRanji Trophy Year
HyderabadAndhra Pradesh944/6 Declared1993-94
Tamil Nadu (TN)Goa912/6 Declared1988-89
Madhya Pradesh (MP)Karnataka912/8 Declared1945-46 (Pre-Independence)

Lowest Team Total Ranji Trophy:

The lowest team score was also recorded by Hyderabad. In November 2010, Rajasthan bowled out Hyderabad for just 21 runs. Owing to successful bowling by Deepak Chahar and his figures of eight for 10, Hyderabad was routed out, with no batsman managing to reach the double-figure mark.

Team Against Team TotalRanji Trophy Year
Southern PunjabNorthern Punjab221934-1935 (Pre Independence)
Sind Southern Punjab231938-1939 (Pre Independence)
J&K (Jammu-Kashmir)Delhi231960-61
J&K (Jammu-Kashmir)Haryana231977-78

Most Runs in Ranji Trophy:

Former Mumbai legend Wasim Jaffer has been the most prolific scorer in the history of the Ranji Trophy. He accumulated over 12,035 runs in Ranji matches over a career span of around 15 years in domestic cricket. Besides Jaffer, some other batsmen who scored heavily in Ranji matches include the names of Bundela, Amol Mazumdar, and Faiz Fazal, among others. Interestingly, only Jaffer holds the record for scoring over 10,000+ runs in Ranji tournaments. Other leading run-scorers in the tournament couldn’t cross the 10,000-run mark in the history of this tournament.

Three batsmen—Bundela, Mazumdar, and Faiz Fazal—could only score 9000+ runs in their careers, while four other batsmen, including the likes of Yashpal Singh, Paras Dogra, Mithun Manhas, and Kanitkar, got over 8000 runs in their Ranji careers.

Player’s NameTeam/ TeamsTotal RunsRanji Career Span
Wasim JafferVidarbha, Mumbai12,0381996-2020
Amol MuzumdarMumbai, Assam, Andhra9,2051993-2014
Devendra BundelaMadhya Pradesh92011995-2017

Highest individual score in Ranji Trophy:

Despite more than 70 years having passed, Bhausaheb Babasaheb Nimbalkar’s 443* against Saurashtra for Mumbai is still a Ranji Trophy record and is yet to be broken. Next on the list is Prithvi Shaw, whose 379 against Assam while playing for Mumbai continues to be the second-highest individual score in the history of the Ranji Trophy.

Besides Nimbalkar, no other batsman could reach the 400-run mark in Ranji matches; however, there are a number of batsmen who scored 300+ runs in an innings. This list includes a long list of legends, including the likes of Sanjay Manjrekar, Sunil Gavaskar, VVS Laxman, Pujara, Bisht, and others. There have been 12 times in Ranji matches when a batsman successfully scored over 300+ runs in an innings.

Player’s NameTeamAgainstIndividual ScoreRanji Trophy Year
B.B NimbalkarMaharashtraSaurashtra443*1948-49
Prithvi Shaw MumbaiAssam3792022-23
S ManjrekarBombayHyderabad3771990-91

Most Centuries in Ranji Trophy:

When it comes to scoring the most hundreds, Wasim Jaffer tops the charts. Throughout his illustrious career in domestic cricket, the former Mumbai veteran reached the three-figure mark over 40 times in his Ranji career. At present, there are no other batsmen nearing Jaffer’s record. The second and third in the list are Ajay Sharma and Paras Dogra, respectively. While Ajay scored 31 tons, Paras smashed 30 centuries in his Ranji career.

Others in the list include Hrishikesh Kanitkar (28), Amol Mazumdar (28), Brijesh Patel, Kaypee, and Vinod Kambli, among others. Overall, Jaffer’s record of 40 Ranji tons looks insurmountable as of now for other players. Among the present players, Fazal (20), P Dogra, and Panchal are the leading century-makers for Ranji matches.

Player’s NameTeam played forNo. of Centuries ScoredCareer Span
Wasim JafferMumbai, Vidharbha401996-2020
Ajay SharmaHP, Delhi311984-2001
Paras DograHP, Puducherry292001-2022

Most Runs Scored In A Single Ranji Trophy Season:

 Indian cricket legend VVS Laxman holds the record for scoring the most runs in a single Ranji season. In the Ranji season of 1999-2000, the former Indian batter scored 1415 runs in just five matches at an astonishing average of 109. Next on the list are the likes of Rahul Dalal and Milind Kumar, respectively. Rahul scored 1340 while Milind finished his Ranji career at 1331, thus falling short of 9 runs and failing to reach the top two in the batters’ list with the most runs in a single Ranji season.

As many as four batsmen scored over 1300+ runs in a single season. But besides Laxman, no batsman could score over 1400+ runs in a single Ranji season.

Player’s NameTeam played forRuns Scored in a seasonRanji Trophy Season
VVS LaxmanHyderabad14151999-2000
Rahul DalalArunachal Pradesh1,3402019-2020
Milind KumarSikkim1,3312018-2019

All-time Most Wickets in Ranji Trophy:

 Rajinder Goel holds the record for the most wickets in Ranji matches. He played for numerous teams in his glorious 16-year-long career. Second on the list is spin legend Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan, who later went on to become one of the famous umpires in world cricket.

Rajinder scalped more than 600 wickets and is still in the Ranji record book as the most prolific wicket-taker in the history of the game. He played Ranji matches for over 16 years. But next on the list, Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan, could only pick 531 Ranji wickets in his glorious 21-year-long association with this premier domestic tournament. The other four top bowlers, including Sunil Joshi (479), Vinay Kumar (442), Narendra Hirwani (441), and Bhagwath Chandrashekhar (437), picked up over 400 wickets in this tournament.

Player’s NameTeam played forTotal WicketsRanji Trophy Season
Rajinder Goel Patiala, Punjab, Haryana6371958-1985
Srinivasaraghavan VenkataraghavanMadras/Tamil Nadu5311963-1984
Sunil JoshiKarnataka4791992-2010

All-time Best Bowling Figure in Ranji Trophy:

Bengal’s Premangsu Chatterjee holds the record for being the leading wicket-taker in this premier tournament. His bowling figure of 10/20 is still a Ranji record. Second on the list are Pradeep Sunderam and Ankeet Chavan, respectively.

Hyder Ali (9/25) and Faisal Sheikh (9/29) also deserve special mention here. Unfortunately, the record for the best bowling figure in a Ranji match still remains unbroken. Though over 20 years have passed, no other bowler could take 9 or more wickets in a Ranji match. It’s still a Ranji record.

A four-day Ranji match is primarily a balanced contest between bowlers and batsmen. Both bowlers and batsmen try their best to win the match for their side. However, over the last few years, it has continued to remain in favor of batsmen. But now with a galaxy of top-class Ranji bowlers, the scene might change and witness a glorious bowling spell that we saw in the past.

Player’s NameTeam played forBest Bowling FigureRanji Trophy Season
Premangsu ChatterjeeBengal10/201956-57
Pradeep SunderamRajasthan10/781985/86
Ankeet ChavanMumbai9/232012-13

Most wickets in a single season in Ranji Trophy:

The credit for taking the most wickets in a single Ranji Season goes to Ashutosh Aman. He dismissed 68 batsmen during the Ranji season of 2018-2019, which is still a Ranji record.

Next bowlers on the list who dismissed the most batsmen in a single Ranji season are Jaydev Unadkat, Bishan Singh Bedi, Dodda Ganesh, Kanwaljit Singh, and others. Besides Ashutosh Aman and Jaydev Unadkat, no other bowlers have been successful in picking up over 65+ wickets in a single Ranji season.

However, Bishan Singh Bedi, Dodda Ganesh, and Kanwaljit Singh had also been successful in picking up more than 60 wickets in a single Ranji season. Moreover, five more bowlers have successfully claimed over 50 wickets in a single edition of the Ranji trophy.

Player’s NameTeam played forMost Wickets TakenRanji Trophy Season
Ashutosh AmanBihar682018-19
Jaydev UnadkatSaurashtra672019-2020
Bishan Singh BediDelhi641974-1975

In Conclusion

Right now, we are just a few days away from Ranji Trophy 2024. This premier domestic cricket championship will start from January 5th, 2024, and will continue for the next two months. Cricket fans can certainly expect non-stop cricketing action for the next 60-65 days in a row.

Not only the cricketing excitement, but every Ranji season gives us a new hero and cricket icon. Though the IPL has become much more popular and fan-frenzy among cricket lovers, the good old Ranji matches are still a sheer delight for fans who are more interested in watching a balanced contest between batsmen and bowlers, with the unlimited joy of watching one’s native state win.

But eventually, the Ranji Trophy is a long-haul battle, and only the best can ever win it.


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