Famous Parsi Cricketers Who Played For India

The Parsi's are a significant minority in India who has contributed in their own way to India's Development. Thus even in the field of cricket their contribution is not insignificant. Before partition, when the quadrangular was played they constituted one of the teams along with the Hindus, Muslims and Europeans.

The Parsi's are a significant minority in India who has contributed in their own way to India's Development. Thus even in the field of cricket their contribution is not insignificant. Before partition, when the quadrangular was played they constituted one of the teams along with the Hindus, Muslims and Europeans.

After independence the quadrangular was scrapped, but quite a few Parsis donned India's colors. One of the foremost Parsi all rounder was Polly Umrigar. During the fifties and early sixties he was India's best batsman. The fact that he scored over 3600 runs at a batting average of 42 is proof enough of his caliber when most other batsmen averaged just 35( Pataudi, Borde etc). He was also the first Indian to hit a double century in test cricket with an innings of 223 against New Zealand during their tour of India in 1956.

If Umrigar had a weakness it was genuine pace and as such he was not much of a success in England against Fred Truman during the 1952 tour.

But later in his career he got over this weakness and during the 1958-59 tour of West Indies to India, faced Hall and Gilchrist with courage.

After Umrigar the next Parsi who comes to my mind was Nariman Jahangir Contractor. He was a left handed opener who had a classical style. He was also captain of India against Ted Dexter's team which toured India in 1961-62. Contractors record as an opener was just average, but he had a solid defense and the Australian captain Richie Benaud praised him during the Aussie tour of India in 1959. Contractor also hit a century at Bombay. However Contractors technique failed him on the fast wickets of the West Indians and he was hit by a ferocious delivery from Charlie Griffith and only emergency surgery saved his life.

Contractor recovered and continued to play for Bombay but his potential was never fully realized as he totaled just over 1600 runs at an average of 31.

Then we have the player Russi Modi, not to be confused with the Russi Modi who was chairman of Tata steel. Modi played very few matches, but during the West Indies tour of India in 1948, Modi along with Hazare played many a stellar innings. He totaled 560 runs in that series. But he faded away and was for long the chairman of the CCI.

During the MCC tour of India in 1962 a wicket keeper batsman made his appearance. He was Farrukh Engineer. People now talk of Dhoni, but I would say Farrukh was a cut above most wicket keeper batsmen. He was a flamboyant player who attacked the bowling from the word go. One cannot forget his innings in the third test against the West Indies in 1966. Engineer opened the batting and soon the West Indies terror pace men Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith were pasted all over the ground. Runs flowed like water and Sobers the West Indian Captain was worried. Farrukh was nearing a century before Lunch, when an alarmed Sobers adopted dilatory tactics to deny Farrukh a century before lunch. He was 94 not out at lunch and eventually made 109. Farrukh hit over 2000 runs in test cricket and was also a polished keeper behind the gloves. His keeping to the spinners was exceptional.

Farrukh retired from the game and moved to England. Many more Parsis played for India, but these are the ones who made the greatest impact

 


Let us know how you like this article. Like it and Rate it below.
1.13K 0
0
0 stars - by 0 user(s)

Related Articles

Glenn Maxwell was bought by Mumbai Indians for a massive sum of $1 million during IPL 2013 auction. But he featured in only three matches during that edition.

Armonk wrestling club goes all in for Wrestlers of all shapes, sizes and abilities..

Jefferey Vandersay an upcoming leg-spinner who was missing from the team hotel finally turned up after a day. An action was taken and the player has been sent packing back to Lanka in the traditions of the game..

Post Your Comment

There are no comments yet.