Ranji Trophy: 3 long-standing records in the competition's history

Bhargav Hazarika

Saurashtra celebrate their maiden Ranji Trophy title in 2019-20

The Ranji Trophy, India's flagship domestic cricket competition has a rich history of records since it was first played in 1934, 86 years ago. The first match of the competition was held on 4 November 1934 between Madras and Mysore at Chepauk.

During the latest edition of the competition in 2019-20, Saurashtra beat Bengal to become the 19th different team to win the Ranji Trophy. After defeats in their earlier three final appearances against Mumbai (2012-13 and 2015-16) and Vidarbha (2018-19), Saurashtra came good at the fourth time of asking. In the process, they emulated Nawanagar (1936-37) and Western India (1943-44) as the teams from the Saurashtra region of Gujarat to have triumphed in the competition.

The Jaydev Unadkat-led side, which had made its Ranji Trophy debut in 1950-51, in the process, ended a 69-year wait for their maiden title in the competition. They broke Gujarat's erstwhile record of 66 years (debuted in 1950-51, won in 2016-17) for the longest time taken by a team since their competition debut to win their first title.

On that note, let us have a look at three of the long-standing records in the Ranji Trophy that are yet to be emulated or surpassed.

#3 10000 runs (5 years)

Wasim Jaffer

Mumbai batsman Wasim Jaffer became the first player in Ranji Trophy history to score 10000 runs, accomplishing the feat while playing for Vidarbha against Bengal in a group-stage game in 2015. Jaffer has since gone on to become the first to scale 11000 and 12000 runs in the competition, leaving his former teammate Amol Muzumdar, almost 3000 runs adrift in second place in the all-time list.

Among the active players, Yashpal Sharma (8700), and Paras Dogra (8114) are in with a chance of joining Jaffer in the 10000-run club. But with neither man getting any younger with every season, Jaffer looks likely to be the lone member of the 10000 run club for a while.

#2 Three consecutive titles (43 years)

Mumbai celebrate one of their recent Ranji Trophy triumphs

Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is the most successful team in the history of the Ranji Trophy, having won almost half (41 of 86) of all the editions of the domestic cricket competition to have taken place.

No team since Bombay (1974-75 to 1976-77) has achieved a three-peat in the competition. Bombay also hold the record for most consecutive title triumphs in Ranji Trophy - winning 15 consecutive titles between 1958-59 and 1972-73.

#1 Quadruple century (71 years)

BB Nimbalkar

Bhausaheb Nimbalkar is the only player to score a quadruple century in the Ranji Trophy. He achieved the feat when he scored an unbeaten 443 for Maharashtra against Kathiawar in 1948-49.

The match is also remembered for the unsportsmanlike act of the Kathiawar team who forfeited the match with Nimbalkar just 9 runs shy of Donald Bradman's then-record of the highest score in a first-class match (452), a mark which has since been surpassed by Hanif Mohammad (499) in 1959 and Brian Lara (501*) in 1994.

Nimbalkar's unbeaten innings remains the only instance of a quadruple century in the Ranji Trophy, with Sanjay Manjrekar (377) coming the closest to emulating his statemate in 1990-91.

Despite an illustrious career spanning more than two decades and six Ranji teams, Nimbalkar did not play for India, which makes his 443* the highest score by any player never to have played a Test match.