India has many obsessions. Food? Yes. Music? Yes. Sports? Oh yes of course. And amongst all, a sport that India has chosen to make it a base necessity is cricket. Indians can think their life without news for a few days, but cricket? Crazy or what? But how did this start? When after independence India saw the first ever game happening in its soil?
Firoz Shah Kotla, a ground much known for its unusual pitch, it was where a handful of mighty Indians came out to play the royal game, padded and prepared. And who did they face? A well in practice with bat and ball West Indies.
Winning the toss, John Goddard made no mistake and chose to bat first. With four players scoring individual centuries including Sir Walcott’s 152, they put up a mammoth 631. In reply, India made a 454 in the first innings where Hemu Adhikari played a mentionable knock of 114 not out and when asked to follow on by Windies captain, they made 220 resulting in a draw.
The five matches series went on to see the guest team as the winners but played an important role to be marked as the first home series as an independent nation.
Though not the first but another match was played in the same ground between India and Commonwealth XI after the series which was significant in some other way. The first president of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, inaugurated the match. With the presence of many army officials and eminent politicians, this was a game of cricket beyond just entertainment values. Here is the video: