LAHORE A CITY OF GAME PLAYERS – DIFFERENT GAMES DIFFERENT TIMES

LAHORE A CITY OF GAME PLAYERS
DIFFERENT GAMES DIFFERENT TIMES

Uproar same at all times

Cricket in Lahore 1888
Cricket in Lahore 1888

British game of cricket probably came to Punjab in the 18th century. Malik Shamas, the great Pakistani Scholar, had seem Buddhist sculptures depicting games of cricket. We came across a Sultanate figurine of Lahore. My father M.A. Rahman Chughtai, and his brothers all were very fond of playing cricket. M.A. Rahman Chughtai the artist was also a very fast bowler, and is reputed to have literally broken wickets in friendly matches. Most of their playing ground was outside the Shahi Masjid Lahore, as well as Minto Park, the present site of Yadgar Pakistan Memorial. A lot of exceptional Parsees used to play cricket in Lahore.

A cricket match occurred between Lahore and Amballa in 1888 and we have a photograph of it. I thought it best to share it with others. After 1888 is a year and a day no one can remember now, either from writings or even from memory of adults. It is there to enjoy. Except for a local person who looks like a caretaker, ost players are Englishmen, accompanied by their wives.

Sultanate Game player
Sultanate Game player

Plenty of trees, but no telltale signs of playing area. Probably Mian Meer Cantonment, which was the place for the farangees. In all cases a very rare image of Lahore.

Actually written records related to cricket in Lahore goes back to 1848. In a Journal published in London in 1849, namely “Leaves from the Journal of a Subaltern during the campaign in the Punjab”, the writer recalls a cricket match played  in Lahore in October, 1848. That means cricket as a game came with the immediate capture of Lahore by the British. For in 1849, ten years after Ranjit Singh, they were the rulers of Lahore. With them came Cricket at it best and it is there to this day, street to street, heart to heart of Lahore today.

Ancient cricket
Ancient cricket

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