A big Parsee celebration at the Gymkhana

Updated: Nov 13, 2016, 14:51 IST | Subodh Mayure

Parsees played a very important role in Indian cricket right from the first page of this country's Test history

Farokh Engineer (right) presents the 1886 Trophy to winning captain Kaizaad Wadia. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Farokh Engineer (right) presents the 1886 Trophy to winning captain Kaizaad Wadia. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Parsees played a very important role in Indian cricket right from the first page of this country's Test history.

Two Parsee players were part of the XI (PE Palia and SHM Colah) in India's inaugural Test against England at Lord's in 1932.

In 1961-62, Nari Contractor's side in the West Indies had four Parsees – the skipper himself, Polly Umrigar, Rusi Surti and Farokh Engineer.

Contractor and Engineer were at the Parsee Gymkhana on Saturday to commemorate 130 years of the first tour undertaken by a Parsee team to England in 1886. That tour was the first to be undertaken by an Indian cricket team.

In a festival match on Saturday, Parsee Gymkhana defeated British Business XI by 68 runs to clinch the 1886 Trophy. After watching the game, Contractor rued the lack of Parsees on the cricket scene.

"They are not vanished from Indian cricket, they are vanished from cricket," exclaimed Contractor, who oversees the fortunes of Parsi Cyclists.

"There were six Parsee clubs in Azad Maidan. Now there is only Parsi Cyclists. We are trying to do something about our cricket," added Contractor.

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