RANJI TROPHY

Who won Ranji Trophy ? Who was the runner up? And for which year? Get the detailed history of the Ranji trophy. See also after who the Ranji trophy was named.

The triumphant Mumbai team after clinching the Ranji Trophy championship in the 2006/07 season

To know the history of Ranji Trophy in a comprehensive manner, we have to start with the introduction of the person from whom this prestigious Indian Domestic Cricket trophy got its name. His late Highness Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji was born in 1872 in the western Indian province of Kathiawar. After having moved to Britain for his studies in the Cambridge University, Ranjitsinghji started playing County Cricket for Sussex and also represented England in 15 Tests. With this, he became the first Indian to play Test Cricket and was also named the Wisden Cricketer of The Year in 1897.

This pride that Ranjitsinghji brought to India and his Cricketing genius were aptly honored by the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) in 1935 by naming India's premiere domestic first class Cricket tournament as the 'Ranji Trophy'.

The competition was first launched as 'The Cricket Championship Of India' in 1934 with the first fixtures taking place in 1934-35. The trophy was donated by H.H. Sir Bhupendra Singh Mahinder Bahadur, Maharajah of Patiala. The first Ranji Trophy Championship was won by Bombay when they beat North India in the final. Syed Mohammad Hadi from Hyderabad was the first batsman to score a century in the tournament.

During the 2nd World War, sports in most of the countries suffered a great deal but India's Ranji Trophy tournament remained disrupted. In fact, 1940s were probably the golden days of the championship and Indian batting with huge record breaking scores being achieved.

The teams playing in the tournament mainly consist of various states of India, along with other service sector teams like Railways. Some states like Maharashtra and Gujarat came up with more than one team, whereas cities like Bombay and Hyderabad comprised of their own separate teams.

Earlier, the format of the championship consisted only of knock-out rounds leading to the final. The rules were such, that if a match was drawn, the side with first innings lead was declared winner. This meant that most sides aimed at batting the opposition out which resulted in maximum matches ending in draws.

Later, in 1857-58, the rules were changed and the zonal system was introduced. In this system, all the teams were grouped into five zones namely, North, East, South, Central and West. In the first round of the tournament, each team would compete with the other teams of the same zone and two top teams from each zone would qualify for the knock-out stage.

In the 2002-03 season, the zonal system was abandoned and two divisional structure was adopted, consisting of 'Elite Group' and Plate Group'. These groups were renamed in 2006-07 season as 'Super League' and 'Plate League'. The Super League was made up of two groups of eight and seven teams respectively and the Plate League consisted of two groups with six teams each.

In both divisions, the top two teams from each group proceed in the knock-out phase. The finalists of the Plate League are promoted into the Super League in the next year whereas the two teams finishing last in the Super League are relegated. This system is presently in action.

Since the very beginning, Bombay has been one of the toughest teams in the championship but their real dominance came into sight when they went on to win the Ranji title for 15 consecutive times (1958-59 to 1972-73). In total, they have been the champions on 37 occasions, which most obviously remains a record.

Year Winners Runners-up
2008-09 Mumbai Uttar Pradesh
2007-08 Delhi Uttar Pradesh
2006-07 Mumbai Bengal
2005-06 Uttar Pradesh Bengal
2004-05 Railways Punjab
2003-04 Mumbai Tamil Nadu
2002-03 Mumbai Tamil Nadu
2001-02 Railways Baroda
2000-01 Baroda Railways
1999-00     Mumbai Hyderabad
1998-99 Karnataka Madhya Pradesh
1997-98 Karnataka Uttar Pradesh
1996-97 Mumbai Hyderabad