Kolkata: The Calcutta Cricket & Football Club (CC & FC) is celebrating 225 years of its existence and marked its anniversary by felicitating a host of sports personalities and past presidents who have donned Indian colours to represent the country at various sporting disciplines.
The Club will be holding a series of events throughout the year. It already conducted cricket match against the Bengal Ranji Trophy team on 21st Feb. Today it felicitated the former and present internationals who have donned Indian colours along with the Past Presidents. Among the noted names who were felicitated were Keshav Datt, Gurbux Singh and Anand Mandapaka from Hockey, Chuni Goswami, Shyam Thapa, Sunil Bhattacharya, Pradip Chowdhury, Santo Jyoti Mitra, Subhas Bhowmick, Pronab Ganguly from Football, Prakash Bhandari, Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Doshi, Arun Lal, Saradindu Mukherjee, Subrata Banerjee, Saurav Ganguly and Devang Gandhi from Cricket, Enrico Piperno from Tennis, Bharati Dey, Hemant Kumar Jalan and Ashish Malhotra from Bridge, Sourojit Ghosh, Suraj Prasad and Maurice Martin from Rugby.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Arun Lal, the President at CC&FC said, “Cricket today is best described as a religion in India where players are treated as Gods, it had a very humble beginning. On 23rd February, 1792 the first cricket match, on record, was played between the Calcutta Cricket Club and the gentlemen of Barrackpore. Thus, began the journey of cricket outside the British Isles.” On 26th Feb 2017, the Club will host another exciting cricket match between CC&FC Invitational XI vs. CAB Presidents XI led by Saurav Ganguly.
Mr. Jayant Jaipal Singh, CEO at CC&FC said, “Apart from Cricket, the CC&FC has also been instrumental in development and growth of other sports in the country. Rugby Football owes its birth in India to the Calcutta Football Club. The CC&FC is a patron of Rugby in India. The Calcutta Football Club donated the Calcutta Cup in 1877 to RFU, which is played for between England and Scotland every year. Football (soccer) and Hockey are two popular sports which are played in the Club.”
Football matches to mark 225th year will be played against East Bengal, the India under 17 team, and the Army team for the J Thomas Cup. An Inter Club Hockey tournament and The All India and South Asia 2017 Rugby Tournament will be held by the Club in
September. The Club will witness a Tennis Tournament in November where past and present international players are likely to participate.
A Cycle Polo tournament with the best teams from all over India is planned towards the end of April 2017.
About Calcutta Cricket & Football Club:
The CC&FC has absorbed several sporting clubs over the centuries and these include the original Calcutta Football Club (1872-1877), the revived Calcutta Football Club (1884), Ballygunge Cricket Club (1864-1950) and the Calcutta Cricket Club of 1792 vintage.
The Club handed over the Eden Gardens to the National Cricket Club in August, 1950 and moved to the Ballygunge Ground. Up to this time, the Calcutta Cricket Club had the distinction of being the second oldest Cricket Club in the world with a continuous record on the same ground. The oldest being the Vine Cricket Ground in Sevenoaks, Kent, England.
The first President of Cricket Association of Bengal was Hon. Justice H G Pearson followed by Messrs. F. M. Garnett, R. B. Lagden, A. L. Hosie and Murray Robertson all of whom were members of the Calcutta Cricket Club.
The first official team to visit India and sponsored by the Calcutta Cricket Club was the M.C.C. side captained by A.E.R. Gilligan in 1926 and this visit was arranged by the then President of the Calcutta Cricket Club, Sir William Currie and the Hony. Secretary, Mr. Murray Robertson.
Cycle Polo, Tennis and Swimming are the other sports played in the Club. Many international stars have learnt and honed their skills on the tennis courts of the Club.