How much does everyone know about Indian cricketer Palwankar Balu? Now a biopic is being made on him, the hero is Ajay Devgan - Newztezz Online- Latest News Today, Breaking News, Top News Headlines, Latest Sports News


Monday, June 10, 2024

How much does everyone know about Indian cricketer Palwankar Balu? Now a biopic is being made on him, the hero is Ajay Devgan


A new news: A biopic of India's first dalit cricketer is being made

In the lead role- Ajay Devgan 

Name of cricketer- Palwankar Baloo

Film Director- Tigmanshu Dhulia 

Film Producer- Preeti Sinha

The story of the film is from the book 'A Corner of a Foreign Field' by cricket historian Ramchandra Guha

Palwankar Baloo's name is neither in the list of Test nor ODI and T20 international cricketers - so the biggest question is who was Palwankar Baloo? The answer to this one question will not only reveal the entire history of the early years of Indian cricket but also the era of the country's independence, but let us try to answer it briefly. 

Palwankar Balu first got associated with cricket as a groundsman in a cricket club in Pune. He was fond of cricket - he started playing by watching other players, listening to their training, when there was no one on the nets. This led to one team and then another and finally in 1896, he was selected to play for the biggest team of that time, Hindu Gymkhana. If you have even a little interest in history, you will know that at that time the country was bound in the chains of many discriminations like untouchability and in such a situation, a Dalit cricketer joining a big team and getting a chance to play with cricketers from big families is a story of struggle in itself. 

Palwankar Balu made this possible in cricket. A lot has been written in this book about the incidents that happened in Palwankar Balu's life (especially the discrimination he faced in his career). The book has his story till cricket but in reality the story of Palwankar Balu's fight after that is also no less. He had entered politics after that. It is difficult to say right now how far the film will go? 

In many books of Indian history, he is also considered the first Dalit icon of India. Born in 1875 in Dharwad and the eldest of four brothers in the family. Father was a soldier in the 112th Infantry Regiment - this was the job of the British Indian Army. Growing up, Balu and his brother Shivram got a job in Pune to set up cricket nets for senior officials in the ground and to take care of the ground. Both these brothers used to play with whatever cricket equipment was left there. 

It is well known that at that time cricket teams in India were divided on the basis of religion - Parsi, Hindu and then Muslim. Bombay Triangular was the biggest tournament of that time in which teams of British players played under the names of Hindu, Parsi and Europeans. From 1912, Muslim team entered and then it changed to Bombay Quadrangular. These teams themselves are proof of the division of society on the basis of religion. It was on this issue that Mahatma Gandhi took interest in cricket - well that is a different story. 

Palwankar Balu was on cricket duty for the Parsi team in Pune where his salary was Rs. 3 per month. In 1892, the Pune Club took him on a salary of Rs. 4 per month - the work was the same there too and the difference was that British cricketers played here. Today teams keep net bowlers to bowl in the nets but earlier there was no such system and when some British saw the bowling of 17-year-old Balu, they put him on spin bowling in the nets - British batsmen used to practice on his bowling. It is recorded in the records that an English batsman named JG Grigg used to give 8 annas as a reward whenever Balu got him out (at that time there were 16 annas in 1 rupee). This improved Balu's spin and he also kept learning new tricks. 

Now Balu felt like practising batting. Batting was a job for the big guys and he did not get any chance in it but after the nets, whenever he got a chance, he started batting a bit before handling the bat. Anyway, he was famous for spin only. Then the Hindu team felt that they needed Balu but the big families playing in the team hesitated on his being a Dalit. Anyway, on the plea of ​​not missing the opportunity to practise bowling of a good bowler, Balu was called to the nets of the Hindu team. 

From here began the story of discrimination against Balu. He benefited from practising under a better bowler and the Hindu team started defeating the European team more often. Impressed by this, Balu got promoted and joined the team. It was an amazing sight that his brothers - Shivram, Ganpat and Vithal also started playing for the same team. This was in 1896 and they joined the Parmanandadas Jeevandas Hindu Gymkhana team and played in the Bombay Triangular. When plague spread in Pune, they took Pariar to Bombay where he quickly got a job - in the Central Indian Railway. The problem was that his cricket skills were appreciated but discrimination continued - separate bathrooms, not having lunch at the same table with other players, not sitting on a chair with them and there are many other incidents but Balu was used to all this. 

Now let's come to the 1906 Hindu-European Bombay Triangular Final. In reply to the Hindu team's 242, the British were bowled out for 191 and in the second innings, the Hindus were bowled out for 160. Facing a target of 212, Balu's 5 wickets bowled the British out for just 102 and the Hindu team got a famous victory against the British who ruled the country. With the freedom struggle in full swing, this historic victory was celebrated all over the country. A few years later, everything started to change. Now Balu would have lunch with everyone else at the Bombay Hindu Gymkhana, his brother Shivram also joined the team - setting an example of these changes across the country.  

In 1911, he was in the team that toured England. The team played poorly but Balu shone- taking 87 wickets and scoring 376 runs. Despite all this, he was never made the captain of the Hindu team that played in the Bombay Quadrangular. When this issue started becoming a controversy, Balu was dropped from the team in 1920. In protest, the three brothers- Balu, Vithal and Shivram left the team. At the behest of many other players of the team, Balu returned to the team and became the vice-captain. It is said that during the next match against the Parsi team, captain MD Pai deliberately left the ground for a long time so that Balu could captain. In the wave of change, Vithal also became the captain. The captain of the Hindu team was a Dalit- this news started a revolution of change in the whole country. In those years, Mahatma Gandhi was also agitating against the practice of untouchability. 

From here begins Balu's innings in politics. This is a different story apart from cricket and circumstances were such that in 1937 he contested the Bombay Presidency elections against BR Ambedkar. He died in Bombay in July 1955. 

Ajay Devgan's last film was a biopic 'Maidaan' based on the life of football player Syed Abdul Rahim - now he will work on a biopic of a cricketer. Dhulia, on the other hand, has been the director of a film made on the famous athlete Paan Singh Tomar.

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