Ranjitsinhji: The Midsummer Night's Dream of Cricket
Ranjitsinhji (also known as Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji, K.S. Ranjitsinhji, Ranji or Smith), was born on September 10, 1872 at Sarodar, Kathiawar.
He played 15 Test matches for England and scored 989 runs with a highest score of 175 at an average of 44.95. Ranjitsinhji also played first-class cricket for Cambridge University and county cricket for Sussex. In 307 first-class matches, he scored 24692 runs, including 72 centuries and 109 half-centuries, at an average of 56.37.
Ranji is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time; and Neville Cardus described him as "the Midsummer night's dream of cricket". Unorthodox in technique and with fast reactions, he brought a new style to batting and revolutionised the game.
He is particularly associated with the leg glance - a shot that he invented and popularised.
India's first-class tournament, the Ranji Trophy, was named in his honour and inaugurated in 1935 by the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala.
Away from cricket, Ranji became Maharaja Jam Sahib of Nawanagar in 1907; was Chancellor of the Indian Chamber of Princes; and represented India at the League of Nations.
Ranjitsinhji died of heart failure on April 2, 1933 after a short illness.
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