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A Brief History of Cricket in India

By Staff Writer

Cricket has roots in England and was played during the medieval period. In 1864, Lord Dalhousie brought cricket to India. The game spread rapidly throughout Asia and became popular in India. Today, cricket is widely recognized as a global sport.

When Did Cricket Become Popular in India

Cricket was first played in India around the 13th century. However, the game did not become popular until the 18th century. After the British took control over India, they introduced cricket as their official sport, and since then, the game has been played by many people worldwide. 

The first Indian club was formed in 1792. Since then, the game grew in India, and by 1952, the country had its first Test victory. In the first fifty years of playing cricket, India was not that successful in most Tests, with only 35 wins in 196 Tests. 

However, this only motivated the team to push harder, as we can now attest. After making its first ODI debut in 1974 and T20I in 2006, the team won five major ICC tournaments1983 and the Cricket World cup in 2011.

But before we walk you through the history of Cricket in India, remember that you can confidently bet on your favorite team with Parimatch whenever there’s a match if you simply click here.


In limited-overs international cricket, India made its One Day International debut in 1974 and its Twenty 20 International debut in 2006. India won five ICC tournaments;

  • 1983 Cricket World Cup
  • 2011 Cricket World Cup
  • 007 ICCT20 World Cup
  • 2002 ICC Champions Trophy
  • 2013 ICC Champions Trophy

It wasn’t all bed of roses for India as they became runner-ups in the 2003 Cricket World Cup, the 2014 ICC World T20, and the 2000 Champions Trophy. Further, they were also the runner-up in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. They placed second in the initial 2019–2021 ICC Men’s Test Championship.

The late eighties till 2018 saw the Indian team consistently winning as they bagged seven Asia Cup victories after having their fair share of running up thrice in 1997, 2004, and 2008. The cricket team has grown exponentially, bagging five ICC Test Championship Maces and one ICC ODI Championship Shield.

Who Runs These Teams?

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been the governing body of Indian cricket since 1929. Despite being one of the oldest sports bodies in the country, the BCCI continues to strive for excellence and innovation to keep pace with modern-day technology. Since 2006, the BCBI’s media rights have increased exponentially. 

The BCCI controls the Indian national cricket team. They are one of the wealthiest organizations in the world, and they handle the contracts for the Indians’ merchandise and sponsorship deals. They also manage future tours and pick players for India. The BCCI also sells international broadcasting rights for cricket matches and tournaments, including ICC events such as World Cups and Champions Trophies.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is an international governing body responsible for scheduling, conducting, and rating men’s international cricket matches. It determines India’s upcoming matches against international opponents such as Australia, England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand.

But the BCCI, with its robust financial position in the cricket sphere, has often challenged the ICC program and called for more series with more significant markets such as Australia and England. Recently, the BCCI also came into conflict with the ICC concerning sponsorships and the legitimacy of hosting the ICC Champions Trophy.

Who’s Responsible For Selecting Team Members

In a bid to improve the quality of international cricket in India, the BCCI introduced a new system. This system would include an Indian national selector who would be responsible for selecting a squad of 15 cricketers to play against other countries instead of having the previous system where the ICC representative committee selected the side. 

The concept behind this move was to give a greater say to cricketers who had played a more vast number of matches and performed better by giving them a chance to prove themselves. The selectors used to stay for one year until 2006 when they can now stay for two years.

The selection process for the Indian cricket team takes place under the direction of the BCCI, which is responsible for selecting players for national teams, state sides, franchises, and representative teams. Each zone has one selector and one selection committee member appointed by the board. The current board of selectors includes Chetan Sharma, Sunil Joshi, Harvinder Singh, and Debashish Mohanty.

Stadiums Where All the Magic Happens

Most cricketers play first-class cricket in India rather than county cricket, and the country has dozens of top-level international venues, including some of the biggest in the world. The largest cricket stadium is Narendra Modi Stadium which can hold 132,000 fans. 

In 1877, The Bombay Gymkhana became the first cricket ground to host an international cricket match involving an Indian cricket team. Parsis and British teams were the teams playing at that time.  The only Test match it ever hosted was played in 1933. Eden Gardens and Chepauk hosted consecutive tests of the same year.

After independence, the Ferozshah Kotla Java Bidhan Stadium in New Delhi became the first stadium to host Test matches. Over the years, more than 20 stadiums in India have managed to host one official Test Match. Some of the most common test venues in recent years include;

  • Mohali
  • Mumbai
  • Chennai
  • Nagpur
  • Pune
  • Rajkot
  • Indore
  • Hyderabad
  • Ranchi
  • Dharamshala

Eden Gardens in Kolkata has hosted the highest number of Test matches of any cricket stadium in India since it was the third largest testing capacity behind Lord’s and Wankhede. Opened in 1864, it has hosted many historical matches, but the most memorable match was Anil Kumble’s ten-wicket against Pakistan in 2003 held at Feroz Shah Kotla Ground.


Cricket has evolved from being predominantly a recreational sport into a professional sport among Indians. Throughout its long history, cricket has seen some amazing feats. 

Staff Writer