SARI is partnering with Volcano Sports Club and Cricket Ireland for the Ranji cricket Trophy this Sunday June 9th at Three Rock Rovers, Grange Road, Rathfarnham from 10am till 7pm. The event will promote Irish Indian relations and celebrate cricket legend, Prince Ranjitsinhji, Maharajah of Nawanager (and one time owner of Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara) the first non-Englishman to play test cricket for England!

On the 17 July 1924 Prince Ranjitsinhji, Maharajah of Nawanager, cricketing superstar, the first non-Englishman to play test cricket for England, became the first head of state to make an official visit to the newly-founded Irish Free State. The subsequent purchase of Ballynahinch castle and estate in Connemara by this high-profile international statesman came as a boost to the fledging Irish state as did his promotion of Ireland as a tourist haven.

For nine years (1924-1933) this charismatic politician and sportsman and his Indian entourage settled with ease into life in Connemara. Ranji became a benevolent and progressive employer in a time when there were few if any outlets for work in the area. A supporter of local cottage industry and also of the Connemara Pony Breeders Association, his annual arrival was greeted with bonfires and celebration in the locality where his memory is still revered to this day.

Irish author Anne Chambers book Ranji: Maharajah of Connemara has recently brought the intriguing story of Ranji's association with Ireland to a wider audience. And to commemorate the Prince's promotion of Irish-Indian relations, the author donated a trophy (The Ranji Trophy) for a cricket match to be played annually in his memory between an Irish and Indian XI.

The inaugural Ranji Trophy takes place on Sunday 9th June, 2013.