Tour of England 1932Captain: the Maharaja of Porbander
India’s first Test tour
First Test-playing tour of England by India
(April - September 1932)
Three Indian cricket teams had previously visited England.They were the Parsees of 1886 and 1888 and the All-India XI of 1911, which was financed and captained by the young Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupendra Singh.Patiala was also intended to be captain on this tour of 1932, the first on which All-India played Test cricket but, now aged 40, he dropped out through ill-health.
The tour came about when M.C.C. was forced to cancel its visit to India in 1930-31 in the face of civil disturbances arising from the independence movement.M.C.C. decided instead to invite an Indian team to England in 1931 but a postponement until 1932 to allow more time for arrangements to be made meant the tour was not confirmed until 31 August 1931.
At a time of political tension - Gandhi was then making his defiant journey to the coast to make salt - the Bombay Quadrangular was suspended so it was not possible for performances in this influential tournament to be used to gauge the players to be chosen.Trials were arranged instead. The Hindu Gymkhana, in protest at playing cricket in England at such a time, would not send any players to the trial matches in the Punjab.
At first it was suggested that an Englishman playing in India such as A L Hosie, C P Johnstone or RB Lagden should skipper the side, better to mollify the inevitable factions within the tour party. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) quickly resolved that the captain would be an Indian.Once the Maharajas of Patiala and of Vizianagram had decided they were not available, the Board went to some lengths to find another Prince to act as captain.But their choice of the Maharaja of Porbander, while expedient, was pointless; as a cricketer, he had no ability and during the tour he appeared in only six first-class matches. Vice-captain Limbdi strained his back when scoring a century in a minor match so that in the Test match the captaincy fell on CK Nayudu. Porbander had to order the players to unite to play under Nayudu but he was a wise choice for his cricket knowledge was unsurpassed.He was already 36 years-old but superbly fit and strong, and he confirmed that he was India's best batsman.Wisden's Almanack chose him as one of its five Cricketers of the Year.India’s first-ever Test match appearance came on 25 June 1936 when he led the All-India team on to the turf of Lord's to face the English national side.
Although the fast bowlers Mohammad Nissar and Amar Singh bowled wonderfully well in the Test match and dismissed England before tea on the first day, India was outclassed and lost the match by 158 runs. Nazir Ali and Nayudu apart, the batsmen had played all their cricket lives on matting wickets, so it may be considered that theyacquitted themselves well.
Fast bowlers: Amar Singh, Jahangir Khan, Mohammad Nissar.
L N Amar Singh
S M H Colah
K S Ganshyamsinhji of Limbdi
S R Godambe
M Jahangir Khan
Capt S Joginder Singh
B E Kapadia
Maharaja of Porbander
N D Marshall
Lt. J G Navle
Capt. C K Nayudu
S Nazir Ali
P E Palia
Lt. S Wazir Ali
Representation from regional teams:
Bombay Hindus (1)
Bombay Parsees (1)
Southern Punjab (2)
Average age of team at time of first Test match
(25 June 1932):
27 yrs9 months
Test Appearances made before the tour
Major E W C Ricketts
Baggageman / scorer
K.S.Ranjitsinhji (chairman), Ahsan-ul-Haq, Prince Ganshyamsinhji of Limbdi and the Maharajkumar of Vizianagram.
The Maharaja of Patiala was appointed tour captain at first, with Prince Ganshyamsinhji of Limbdi as vice-captain, while the Maharaj Kumar of Vizianagram, who was prepared to underwrite the tour with £40,000 of his own fortune, was made deputy vice-captain.
As there was no Quadrangular tournament in India in 1931-32, two trial matches in Patiala and two in Lahore were arranged. Although R S Nailer, P N Perera and T P Sweeney attended the trials, no Anglo-Indian was included in the tour party.
Vizianagram's XI v KS Ganshyamsinhji of Limbdi's XII
Patiala's XI v Nawab of Pataudi's XII
Probables v Possibles
India v Rest of India
Unavailable:L P Jai, V M Merchant and Champak Mehta were unavailable because of the Hindu Gymkhana's opposition to the tour in protest at the jailing of Indian political leaders.
K S Duleepsinhji was prevented by his uncle Ranjitsinhji, who was the Chairman of Selectors, from participating in the tour and he committed himself to a season of county cricket with Sussex.
The Nawab of Pataudi made himself unavailable at short notice, as some newspapers suggested, because he had not been offered a position of responsibility; but it may rather have been connected with his attempts to secure a place in the England XI. The Times disapproved “… he had definitely promised to play ...he took part in all of the trials and accepted the captaincy of one of the sides in the last match."
Tour Party Announced :4 February 1932.
The selectors announced the names of fifteen players in addition to the three senior appointments already made.
Not Selected :
Withdrawal : Two weeks before the tour the Maharaja of Patiala withdrew for reasons of fitness, and Vizianagram then withdrew from the team citing his poor health and lack of form.On 15 March the choice of captain fell upon the Maharaja of Porbander (he was married to Limbdi's sister), while Jahangir Khan was drafted into the party as a player in place of Vizianagram.
Time between selection and departure from India
(4 February - 2 April)
On 2 April 1932 the tour party sailed from Bombay on the mail ship 'Strathnaver'.Porbander said "Au revoir, India, we shall bring you laurels as you wish us to".Limbdi remained in India for his wedding and sailed from Bombay at the end of April.
The ship reached Marseilles on 15 April and the tour party travelled overland by train across France, arriving at Victoria Station, London, the next afternoon. The headquarters of the team was the Midland Grand Hotel, St Pancras, London.
Time spent in England
169 days(16 April - 18 September)
On-tour selection committee
Porbander, Limbdi, Nayudu, and Ricketts (?).
� Pelsham Rye
T Gilbert Scott's XI
H M Martineau's XI
Won 61 r
Won 8 w
Lost inns 103 r
Won 128 r
Won 10 w
Won 9 w
Won inns 129 r
Won 3 w
LOST 158 r
Lost 224 r
Lost 6 w
Lost 6 w
Won 200 r
Won 54 r
Won 55 r
Won 163 r
Lost 9 r
Won inns 15 r
Lost 58 r
� West Bridgford
Sir Julien Cahn's XI
Lost inns 26 r
An England XI
Won inns 40 r
H D G Leveson-Gower's XI
North of Scotland
� not first-class
Time in England before First Test:70 days
(16 April - 25 June)
Test appearances on tour
1 -Amar Singh, Colah, Jahangir Khan, Lall Singh, Nissar, Naoomal, Navle, Nayudu, Nazir Ali, Palia, Wazir Ali
The team left Victoria Station, London, on the boat-train on Sunday morning, 18 September 1932, and after taking a ferry across the English Channel to France, travelled overland by rail to Marseilles to catch their ship back to India.
The King sent a message of goodwill to the Maharaja of Porbander, who replied: “The gracious hope of His Majesty that we have enjoyed our time here has been abundantly fulfilled. We are gratified at the measure of success achieved and our enjoyment has stood the test of the strenuous, non-stop work of the English cricket season. The greatest kindness has been shown us on every hand and we shall retain the happiest recollections of British hospitality and sportsmanship.I cherish the hope that an All-England team will visit India in the cold weather season of 1933-34.”
They embarked at Marseilles in the P & O liner Viceroy of India on 22 September and reached Bombay on 3 October 1932.