In 1st Test Played In India, “Dogs And Indians” Weren’t Allowed To Spectate


In 1st Test Played In India, 'Dogs And Indians' Weren't Allowed To Spectate

The 1933 Test match is special in many ways for the Indian team.

Ninety-one years ago, an ‘All-India’ cricket team travelled to England to play its first-ever Test Match on June 25, 1932. The four-day Test match at Lord’s marked the beginning of a rich legacy of Indian cricket. A year later on December 15, the team, led by Colonel CK Nayadu, played its first-ever Test Match on Indian soil against Douglas Jardine’s England at the Bombay Gymkhana Club.

On 90 years of the historic day, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor today shared a picture on X of the first-ever Test match on Indian soil. “Today marks the 90th anniversary of the first-ever cricket Test match played on Indian soil, India vs England at the historic Bombay Gymkhana ground on 15 December 1933,” Mr Tharoor said.

“Since Indians (&dogs) were not allowed on the Gymkhana premises those days, the Maharaja of Patiala, offended by the way his compatriots were treated, then established the Cricket Club of India and the adjoining Brabourne Stadium, in whose pavilion no racist restrictions applied. It was a great venue where I watched many a Test in my childhood,” Mr Tharoor said.

Douglas Jardine’s English side was notoriously famous for its “Bodyline” series during the 1932-33 Ashes series against Australia to counter the batting skills of Sir Don Bradman and other Australian batters by pitching the ball at the batsman’s body. England won the 1932-33 “Bodyline Ashes” 4-1. 

Mumbai has been the traditional cricket capital of India, giving legends like Vijay Merchant, Sunil Gavaskar, Ajit Wadekar, Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma. Maharaja of Patiala Bhupinder Singh, who is credited for playing a crucial role in the creation of an Indian team, created the Cricket Club of India (CCI) in 1933, a subsidiary of the BCCI. The famous Brabourne Stadium, which houses the CCI came into existence because of the discrimination the team faced at the Gymkhana Club. 

The Test match is special in many ways for the Indian team. Events at the Bombay Gymkhana Club in 1933 shaped the future years of the team and also the creation of a cricket club accessible to Indians. 

Forty years later, a dispute between the CCI and the Bombay Cricket Association (BCA) laid the foundation of the iconic Wankhede Stadium. 

An Iconic Test Match

Batting first, India was bowled out for 219, with Lala Amarnath being the leading run scorer in the first innings. England scored 438 in response and took a big lead with the help of Bryan Valentine’s 136, but Mohammad Nissar, the faster pre-independence bowler India has ever produced, took a five-wicket haul. Nissar and Amar Singh, the Indian bowling duo were considered as the one of the fastest at that time. 

India’s legendary all-rounder Lala Amarnath scored 118 in the second innings. He became the first Indian to score a test century and became the leading run scorer for India in Tests. 

England won the test match by 9 wickets, but undoubtedly the Test match remains one of the most important in India’s rich cricketing history. 


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