Ranji Trophy is the premier multi-day cricket competition in India. The first-class tournament’s history dates back to as early as 1934-35, at the time when the inaugural season of the tournament began in a knockout format. Bombay won the first-ever tournament by beating Northern India in the Final Match. Ranji Trophy has seen many formats throughout its glory years, and they currently play the tournament with the eventual winners being crowned by knockout bouts after the initial Round-Robin Stage. Bombay has tasted the most success in the tournament with 41 titles. Several stalwarts of Indian cricket have sweated it out in the Ranji Trophy and made it into the Indian Test Team quickly enough. Some others, on the other hand, had to toil hard for years in the tournament itself without actually making a mark on the international stage. In this article, we’re looking at the veterans of the Ranji circuit and their contributions to the game of cricket. The following list shows the details of Ranji Trophy’s most experienced ten cricketers:
10. Yere Goud (119)
Yere Goud played most of his domestic cricket for Karnataka and The Railways in a career spanning over a decade. He made his Ranji debut in the 1994-95 season. His contribution to the Karnataka Team was immense in the era, as they were not necessarily a strong team then. The batsman went on to win the Ranji Trophy twice and the Irani Trophy thrice in his Illustrious career. His success was ignored by the Indian selectors time and time again, and he never made it into the Indian Cricket Team. He had a batting average of above40 and even can be referred to as an effective part-time leg-break bowler. He was also known as the ‘Rahul Dravid’ of the Railways for his successful stint in the team. Yere Goud bid adieu to the Ranji Trophy in 2012 leaving a Legendary Legacy behind, after playing 119 matches in the competition.
9. Sitanshu Kotak (121)
The Saurashtra Cricketer was a reliable Batting All-rounder for his team. He notched up 7607 runs for them with an average of 42.26 and even had to his name 13 number centuries. The player has also taken 64 wickets in the Tournament with an impressive average of 40.3, especially for a Batting all-rounder. Sitanshu last played for Saurashtra in 2014, and his contributions paved the way for the team to be in a commanding position in Indian Cricket now. He didn’t stop there with cricket and he went on being the coach of India, U-19 and India A setup. He is still working for the betterment of Indian cricket.
8. Rajinder Goel (123)
The Veteran Bowler had plied his trade for many Domestic Teams across his career. The player started with Patiala in 1958 and moved onto teams like Southern Punjab, Delhi, Haryana. He was a prolific wicket-taker for every team he played for and still keeps the record for the most wickets in Ranji Trophy cricket with an astonishing tally of 637 scalps to his name. The left-arm orthodox spinner certainly can be considered as a purist in the art of cricket and would’ve inspired the likes of Bishen Singh Bedi to take up the role. He was also an umpire in the game, and he retired from it on Feb 18, 2010. The cricketer is surely an all-time legend in the history of our beautiful game.
7. Sairaj Bahutule (124)
Sairaj Bahutule made his debut in 1991 for Mumbai and played 188 first-class matches in a career spanning almost 23 years. He played 124 games in the tournament for Several Teams. His expertise came to the fore in teams like Mumbai, Assam, Vidarbha, Andhra, Maharashtra, etc. He briefly had a county stint with the Surrey Cricket team and was awarded an India Cap on March 18, 2001. He was a leg spinner by trade and has won the Ranji Trophy for Mumbai. He is now with the IPL side ‘Rajasthan Royals’ as a Spin Bowling Coach and is still going on strongly in the field, imparting valuable knowledge.
6. Sanjay Bangar (125)
Many of us know him as the former batting coach of Team India, yet he had a stellar First-Class Career. He is an Indian international player who played for the Railways in the domestic tournament. He made a name for himself with an airtight defensive batting style and also had the knack of taking crucial wickets with the ball. These credentials helped him get the job to serve India as a batting coach for Team India, India A, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, etc. He was also part of the Indian Squad in the 2003 ODI World Cup, but his International Career never prospered. He has to his name the record of 6000 runs and 200 wickets in the Ranji Trophy. The 125 games he played were of high quality, and the player could’ve had a better chance on the national side had the stars aligned for him. He bid adieu to first-class cricket in the year 2013.
5. Rashmi Ranjan Parida (126)
Rashmi Ranjan Parida has an impressive 126 appearances in the Ranji Trophy. The wicket-keeper batsman has played for teams including Assam, Orissa, Rajasthan, Vidarbha over the years. He made his debut in the 1994 season of the tournament. The Former Player toiled hard year after year, and still couldn’t make it to the Indian side. He is now the Head Coach of the Odisha Team for the 2020 season. He can be regarded as one of the most influential cricketers to come from the state of Odisha.
4. Amol Muzumdar (136)
Amol Muzumdar was the epitome of batsmanship even in the golden era of Dravid Tendulkar and Ganguly. His stats were impeccable in the Ranji Trophy career, yet he couldn’t make a name for himself in the Indian National Team. He made his debut in the 1993 season and went in to play till as late as 2014. He played most of his cricket for Mumbai and was their most reliable batsman throughout his time as a player there. Later on, he represented Assam and Andhra Pradesh in the tournament. He is now active in the cricket field as a Batting Coach and has had successful stints in teams like ‘Netherlands, ‘Rajasthan Royals’, ‘South Africa’ etc.
3. Mithun Manhas (135)
The Wicket-Keeper Batsman had played predominantly for the Delhi team in the Ranji Trophy, and he also had a stint with the Jammu and Kashmir team from 2016-17. He had the temperament and technique to become a mainstay batsman in any team he had played. The uniqueness in his style came to the fore when he got selected to the IPL squads of ‘Pune Warriors’ and Dhoni Led ‘Chennai Super Kings’. He was a swashbuckling middle -order batsman who made his Ranji debut in the 1997 season. He captained the side to a championship in the 2007-08 season too. He was one of the unluckiest ones not to have a career in the Indian team, given that he has the 2nd most runs in Ranji history. He’s since then moved on to being a coach in IPL sides like RCB and KXIP.
2. Devendra Bundela (145)
Devendra Bundela played for Madhya Pradesh from 1995 to 2018. He was the most reliable Batsman of the Madhya Pradesh cricket team over the years. He was the most capped Ranji player till very recently with 145 appearances. The player never made it into the Indian Team despite being consistent throughout his career. He toiled hard in the domestic circuit for years scoring over 10,000 runs, and the fact that he was a useful bowler himself makes him being overlooked for the Indian team even more difficult to comprehend. Madhya Pradesh’s most successful cricketer would go in the history books as one of the unlucky cricketers in the era.
1. Wasim Jaffer (150)
In the Face of Ranji Cricket, Wasim Jaffer thoroughly deserves all the accolades in the world for his patience. He quietly did his duty as a cricketer without actually having the international career to show for it. The Mumbai legend has plied his trade for many teams over the years in the Tournament. He has amassed over 11000 runs and is hence the most prolific run-scorer in Ranji Tournament history. He made his Test Debut on February 24, 2000, against South Africa and was a rock at the top of the order before being dropped from the side, arguably unnecessarily so. He played for Mumbai and Saurashtra in the Tournament, winning multiple championships along the way. He has taken many roles after retiring from the game. He even had the opportunity of being the batting coach for the Bangladesh cricket team. Now, he is the head coach of the Odisha Cricket Team for the 2021-22 Ranji season. He is earning each and everyone’s respect in still working hard for Indian cricket. His illustrious career in the Ranji Trophy is second to none and should be talked upon by generations to come.