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Friday, Oct 22, 2021
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Ranji, His Love, Life And Letters

India's greatest cricketing legend was also an incurable romantic, as revealed by a recent discovery of his love letters to the Holmes sisters, Mary and Minni

Ranji, His Love, Life And Letters
Ranji, His Love, Life And Letters
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties,' runs the old maxim. But sometimes the lives of cricketers can turn out to be more gloriously uncertain than an exciting game of cricket. How else can you explain the fact that Ranji, arguably India's greatest cricketer ever, rented a whole train to take his love, Mary Holmes (also called Madge and Poly), to London for a holiday in the 1890s even as he was deeply in debt, owing money to his tailor, bartender, grocer, newsagent and restaurateur in Cambridge? How can you explain that he was showering Mary with costly gifts—a diamond bracelet, an ivory necklace, a model of the Taj Mahal, a brooch—even as he was planning to live on friends, eating in their homes after inviting himself forcibly, to avoid destitution?

What we all know is that Ranjitsinjhi played for Cambridge University and decided to make his cricketing career in England rather than in India, for Sussex and England. He played 15 Tests between 1896 and 1902 (in a period well before India had achieved Test status), all his matches being against Australia. Ranji had a...
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