From Vijay Merchant to Farokh Engineer, the contribution of Parsee community can’t be forgotten and it was their zeal that gave Indian cricket a new direction in the 20th century, reveals a new book that captures the essence of the game in the country.
Journalist and broadcaster Mihir Bose wrote in his new book, ‘Nine Waves’ published by Aleph Book Company, “India’s Parsee community led the development of Indian cricket. The early Parsee cricketers, having endured years of condescending remarks from British critics, went on to organize two ambitious tours of England, discovered the first great Indian cricketer, Mehellasha Pavri, and, most importantly, started beating English teams both in England and India.”
The author wrote about the flamboyant Parsee cricketers, who headlined the Indian teams till the 1970’s. “Parsees remained an important part of Indian cricket until well into the 1970s and I grew up watching Polly Umrigar, Nari Contractor, both captains of India, Farokh Engineer, a crucial member of the 1971 team that beat England in England for the first time, and Rusi Surti, whom we christened the ‘poor man’s Sobers’. Then Tata, the great Parsee firm, employed some of India’s best cricketers, but now there are hardly any prominent Parsee cricketers in India.