Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in 1904, hired Mr. Machiwala, a Parsi coach, for training his sons in cricket.

In 1934, Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III, laid foundation of Cricket in Baroda State’s Motibaug Ground, which got its affiliation to Cricket Board in India in 1937.

Many great cricketer’s like Vijay Hazare, G Kishanchand, J M Ghorpade, D K Gaekwad, Chadu Borde, Kiran More, Anshuman Gaekwad, Nayan Mongia, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Yusuf Pathan, Kunal Pandya & Hardik Pandya have knocked to the International Venues & played for Team India.

Maharaja Pratapsinhrao Gaekwad who were also a keen & skilled cricket player, inspired youth in Baroda to get exposure in International/National levels. Cricket was made compulsory in school & colleges. Motibaug Ground & MPC Gymkhana were made & maintained for skilled cricketers, how-ever for all cricket enthusiast, Gujarat Krida Mandal, located near Kirti Stambh were opened.

Maharaja Pratapsingh Rao Gaekwad sent Sardar W N Ghorpade as a representative of Baroda to a meeting in Delhi at the Roshanara Club on 21 November 1927.

This meeting which was represented by other 45 members was very significant as it took a definite and positive step to form a central board for controlling cricket in India. On 16 April 1934, he founded the present Baroda Cricket Association as The Central Board of Cricket in Baroda. Its founder President was Col. Kumar Shivraj Singh and the founder Secretary was Prof. S. V. Shevade. In 1937 it assumed the name of Baroda State Cricket Association. In 1938, it came to be known as Baroda Cricket Association, a name which is still in force. It continued to function under the patronage of the Gaekwads even after the state merged with the Indian union.

On 25 April 1939, Maharaja of Kolhapur laid the foundation stone of Maharaja Pratapsinh Coronation Gymkhana. On 30 April 1939, foundation stone for the Baroda Stadium (likely the Motibaug Cricket Ground) was laid by Maharaja Pratapsinh Gaekwad.

In 1949, the mantle of leadership fell on the shoulders of Maharaja Fatehsinhrao, eldest son of Maharaja Pratapsingh Rao Gaekwad who not only guided the destiny of cricket at the state level but also at the National level. A Ranji Trophy player, he also played against international team, he was a sports reporter and an expert commentator for international cricket all over the world. He was the President of the Board of Control for cricket in India from 1963-64 to 1965-66, and became the youngest person to represent his country at ICC. This period brought up abundant local talent of international standing, viz. cricketers like H R Adhikari, R B Nimbalkar, D K Gaekwad, J M Ghorpade, Aunshuman Gaekwad, Rashid Patel and Kiran More. Who were later followed by Nayan Mongia, Atul Bedade, Jacob Martin and Irfan Pathan. Many World Cup matches has been played in the stadium till then.

* Maharaja Fatesinhrao Gaekwad were President of Board for 2 years (1963-1965) & had also gone to England as Manager of Indian Team in 1952, & then also gone to Pakistan to create good-will & establishing good relations between both countries.

Second born and eldest daughter of Maharaja Pratapsinh Rao, Dr Mrunalini Devi Puar, an all-time enthusiast of the game, were the President of Gujarat Women’s and Vice-President of the All India Women’s Cricket Association. She was head of the Women’s Wing of Baroda Cricket Association.

Maharaja Pratapsingh Rao’s grandson Samarjitsinh Ranjitsinh Gaekwad, who once played for Baroda in the Ranji Trophy, is presently Vice President of the BCA. Even today, the Motibaug Cricket ground remains open for the cricketing fraternity. The BCA office is housed within the precincts of the Lukshmi Villas Palace, the home of the royal family. The seed sown and nurtured by the Gaekwads of Baroda continues to grow and flower as the present royal family manifests an unfailing commitment to the sport that runs so deeply in their ethos.

Sources: BCA & Baroda Cricket

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