Irani Cup

Full Current Name: Mastercard Irani Trophy, Irani Trophy
Tournament Country: India
Tournament Administrator: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)
Cricket Forms: First-Class
Current Champion: Rest of India
Nearest Tournament: 1 March 2023 - 5 March 2023
Format Tournament: One-off
Numbers Of Team: 2
Irani Cup

Irani Cup: First-class cricket home tournament in India

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Irani Cup

The first season of the Irani Cup was held in 1959. It was formed in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Ranji Trophy championship. There are only two teams participating in the tournament – the current winner of the first-class Ranji Trophy tournament and a team of the best players of the last season. The greatest number of titles is on account of the Rest of India team. The Board of Control for Cricket in India manages the tournament. The last season of the Irani Cup was held in 2019. Read our short review article about the popular internal championship.

Irani Cup – what kind of tournament is it?

In 1928, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was formed in India. It is the main sports governing body in the country, which is responsible for cricket. In 1934, the BCCI opened the first and most important championship — the Ranji Trophy.

The Ranji Trophy is a championship of first-class matches. One game at a professional tournament lasts from 3 to 5 days. To date, the Mumbai cricket team has the largest number of titles on its account.

In 1959, the 25th anniversary season of the Ranji Trophy was held. To reflect this in history, the Board of Control for Cricket in India came up with the idea of creating another first-class tournament that puts an end to the end of the sports season.

As a result, in the period from 1959-1960, a one-day championship was created in the country, the match of which was held in the first-class format. The tournament was named after the former president of the BCCI – Zal Irani (the first name of the tournament is the Irani Trophy). He is a man who has made a great contribution to the development of Indian cricket. He served two terms as president: from 1928 to 1946 and from 1948 to 1962.

The debut match was held on the territory of Feroz Shan Kotla. The game was played between the Bombay cricket team (since 1995 Mumbai) and the Rest of India cricket team. Bombay Cricket Club won the first season.

Who is the Rest of India team? This is a first-class cricket team that is constantly changing and consists of players from all over the country, except for the current winners of the tournament.

For the first five years, the Irani Cup was held at the end of the Ranji Trophy championship. Later, the BCCI realized that such a match was of great value and began to hold it before the Ranji Trophy; thus, the Irani Cup tournament traditionally gave the start to a new playing season of first-class cricket.

This is how the tournament was played until 2013. In 2013, it was again postponed to the next few days after the Ranji Trophy final. Thus, in the 2012-2013 season, two Irani Cup matches were held at once. Today, the championship is also held at the end of the first-class championship game season.

Irani Cup – what kind of tournament is it?

Irani Cup – winners and records of the tournament

As of 2021, the Rest of India team has won the most championship titles. It has 28 annual trophies on its account. Let’s make a rating by the number of titles among the professional teams that managed to participate in the Irani Cup:

  1. Mumbai cricket team – 15 wins, the last in 2013;
  2. Karnataka cricket team – 6 wins, the last in 2015;
  3. Vidarbha cricket team – 2 wins, the current champion of the Irani Cup (2018-2019 season);
  4. Railways cricket team – 2 wins, the last in 2006;
  5. Delhi cricket team – 2 wins, the last in 1990;
  6. Haryana cricket team – 1 victory in 1992;
  7. Hyderabad cricket team – 1 win in 1988.

Did you know that only once in the history of the Irani Cup, the championship game ended in a draw? It happened in 1966 when the Rest of India team shared the trophy with the Mumbai cricket team.

The last winner of the championship is considered to be the Vidarbha club. It won the tournament in 2019. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the final match of the Irani Cup of the 2019-2020 season with the participation of the Saurashtra cricket team was canceled. Although initially, the BCCI announced that the game would be held without the presence of spectators.

Irani Cup – winners and records of the tournament

According to current data, the largest number of earned runs in the entire history of the Irani Cup belongs to a professional player – Wasim Jaffer. He has 1294 runs on his account. He finished his career with the Vidarbha cricket team in 2020.

And the record for the number of wickets knocked out also belongs to a former professional player – Padmakar Shivalkar. He has 51 wickets on his account.

In 2010, a record 1749 runs were earned at Sawai Mansingh Stadium by both teams: Rest of India – 1055 runs and Mumbai cricket team – 694.

We really hope that the time of the pandemic will end soon and all popular tournaments will continue their activities.

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert

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