Buchi Babu match: A wealthy legacy of star gamers and large groups

Crowd-puller: That Buchi Babu attracted fans in large numbers is a fact Gavaskar would attest to. 

Crowd-puller: That Buchi Babu attracted followers in massive numbers is a truth Gavaskar would attest to. 
| Photograph Credit score: The Hindu Archives

After a five-year hole, one of many oldest cricketing competitions within the nation will kick off throughout 4 venues in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday. The All India Buchi Babu match will characteristic 12 groups this yr and, for the primary time, has moved out of Chennai.

The match was first performed in 1909 in reminiscence of Mothavarapu Venkata Mahipathi Naidu, popularly often known as Buchi Babu Naidu (1868-1908).

Buchi Babu performed a significant position in taking the sport to the plenty in Madras. He then determined to conduct a Madras Presidency match wherein the most effective gamers within the metropolis would tackle the Englishmen representing Madras Cricket Membership. Nonetheless, he handed away earlier than the primary version may very well be held. From 1909, the match was named in his honour.

After being performed amongst native golf equipment for the following few many years, it grew to become an invitational match within the Nineteen Sixties, with the TNCA organising it and groups from outdoors the State collaborating within the competitors.

A number of the largest names in Indian cricket was once a part of the match, enjoying for his or her employers, just like the State Financial institution of India, Related Cement Firms (ACC), Nirlon and Mafatlal to call a number of.

For the following few many years, the match, alongside the Moin-ud-Dowla match in Hyderabad, grew to become the curtain-raiser for the home season within the nation.

Often held in August-September, the match was the perfect pre-season warm-up for the gamers when the monsoon was lively in most components of the nation.

However the creation of the TNPL in 2016 meant it was more and more getting troublesome to shoehorn the match into an ever-expanding calendar, and it fell off the grid after the 2017 version.

It has taken Tamil Nadu’s poor report within the Ranji Trophy over the past 5 years to get the match again on the calendar to get its gamers up and prepared for the grind of first-class cricket.

Former India skipper Ok. Srikkanth just lately spoke about how necessary and prestigious the match was throughout his early life.

“After the 1971 tour to the West Indies, Sunil Gavaskar got here to play Buchi Babu that yr for ACC towards Jolly Rovers at Loyola Faculty. There have been 10,000 individuals to see who Sunil Gavaskar was. I used to be a seventh-standard boy and watched him play for the primary time,” Srikkanth recalled.

“This was an necessary match for cricketers right here. When you do nicely within the First Division, you get chosen for Buchi Babu, after which for those who do nicely there, you get picked for the under-25 and even Ranji Trophy facet.

“It was the most important non-First Class match in India,” he added.

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