Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji

(1872—1933) ruler in India and cricketer

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Indian cricketer and statesman who played for England and captained Sussex (1899–1903).

He was educated at Rajkumar College, India, and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he did not win his blue until his final year. In his first match for Sussex, only two summers later (1895), he scored a century at Lord's. In all, he scored 72 centuries and 24 692 runs. In 1900 he scored more than 3000 runs in English cricket including five double centuries, one of them reached in only three hours against Middlesex. His top score was an undefeated 285 at Taunton against Somerset in 1901.

‘Ranji’ was never free of ill health. Asthma restricted his sleep and in 1907 he almost died after an attack of typhoid. During World War I he fought as a colonel with the Indian troops in France. During a period of convalescence from ill health in England, he was accidentally hit in the face by some shot while shooting on the Yorkshire moors and lost an eye. A popular figure and a progressive ruler (he succeeded his cousin as maharajah in 1907), he served on the Indian Council of Princes and the League of Nations.

Subjects: Sport and Leisure — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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