Irani Trophy is a winner-takes-the trophy domestic first-class tournament played in India since the 1959-60 season.
It is played between the incumbent Ranji Trophy champions and the Rest of India XI (a team usually comprising of the best performers from the last Ranji season). With the 56th edition of the Irani Trophy having been played between the latest Ranji champions Gujarat and the Rest of India XI at the Brabourne Stadium, Qweekly brings you another edition of questions-and-answers session to keep you abreast of the Irani facts over the years.
- Can you name the personality after whom the Irani Trophy is named?
- In the season 2012-13, there were two Irani Trophy played. Can you cite the reason?
- Two batsmen boast of scoring more than 1000 runs in their Irani career. Gundappa Viswanath is one, who is the other?
- Two popular Indian names from the 1970s are the only ones to hit a maximum 4 centuries in the event. Who are they? (Hint: Their surnames start with the same letter)
- There have been a total of six occasions when the winning side thrashed their opponents by an innings. While five of them were achieved by the Rest of India side, only one state team could return the same as the worthy Ranji champions. Can you guess the team?
- In the 2000-01 edition, a left-arm spinner from Railways featuring for the Rest achieved a feat of picking up nine in an innings that was earlier only hold by Ravi Shastri. Who was he?
- Along with his Bombay contemporaries Ajit Pai and Eknath Solkar, Indian batting maestro Sunil Gavaskar holds a much unwanted record in the Irani Trophy. Guess what?
- In the Irani Cup last season, Rest of India’s win over Mumbai rewrote the record books. In what count?
- Despite being a creditable Delhi spinner, Maninder Singh has had some unwanted feat in his otherwise lofty Irani career. Can you guess it?
- Which cricketer boasts of the most appearance in the Irani Trophy? (Hint: He is a son of a former Indian great)
- Zal R Irani who was the long time treasurer of the BCCI. He later became the board President in 1963 and stayed at the helm till 1966.
- In its early years, the Irani Trophy was held towards the end of the season. However since the mid-1960s, it was promoted as the season opener before again relegated in 2012 to be playing after the Ranji Trophy as it is being done at present. The 2012-13 domestic season started with the Irani Trophy (2011-12 Ranji champs Rajasthan vs the Rest) and owing to a decision made earlier, ended with the Irani Trophy (2012-13 Ranji champs Mumbai vs the Rest). In between were held the Duleep and Ranji Trophy.
- Wasim Jaffer who is the highest run-aggregator in the event. The Mumbaikar scored 1008 career runs while the Karnatakan great Viswanath – the first to make a double ton in Irani – made 1001.
- Gundappa Viswanath and Dilip Vengsarkar. While Viswanath made two each for his state Karnataka and the Rest, Vengsarkar made three for the Rest and one for his native Bombay (now Mumbai).
- Karnataka defeated the Rest by an innings and 222 runs in the 2013-14 Ranji Trophy. The powerful Karnatakan side under Vinay Kumar won the treble of Ranji, Irani and Vijay Hazare (50-overs state meet) trophies back-to-back in 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.
- Murali Kartik who picked up 9 wickets in an innings to become only the second bowler in Irani history to do so. Another unique achievement of the left-arm spinner in the innings was that all nine of his victims were caught in the air by non-keeping fielders.
- Gavaskar is one of the four batsmen to register a maximum of three ducks in the Irani history.
- The Rest Of India side of 2016 chased down the mammoth 480 run target set by Mumbai – the highest fourth innings total in the Irani history and one of the highest successful chase in the history of First-class cricket.
- The only bowler to have conceded 200 runs or more in an innings in an Irani tie. In fact, his name features in each of the first three in the list of most conceded in an Irani innings – 3/218 in 1992, 5/185 in 1986 and 2/180 in 1982 – all for Delhi against the Rest. He first broke leg-spinner Baloo Gupte’s 20-year old unwanted in 1982 before going on to broke his own twice.
- Ashok Mankad, the son of former Indian all-round great, Vinoo Mankad. The Bombay cricketer featured in a record 13 Irani meets – one more than Sunil Gavaskar.
How many of the above did you know about the Irani Trophy? Share your scores in the comments below!
Photo by roberthuffstutter