Monday, January 4, 2010

Ranji's Legendary Bat Stolen from Jamnagar Palace

The cricket bat of Maharaja Ranjitsinhji which mesmerised cricket fans across the world from 1890 till the early years of 20th century has been stolen. He was the legendary cricketer after whom India's famous domestic first-class cricket championship, the Ranji Trophy, is named.
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The cricket bat of the legendary cricketer Maharaja Ranjitinhji of Jamnagar after whom India's famous domestic first-class cricket championship, the Ranji Trophy, is named has been stolen along with other antiques from the Jam Bungalow Palace in Jamnagar

K.S. Ranjitsinhji (1872-1933) was the ruler or Jam Saheb of princely state Jamnagar. He played test cricket for England, and is considered to be the inventor of the leg glance. He was called to be one of the greatest batsman of cricket from 1890s and 1900s

According to the report filed with police by the care taker of the place exact details of the items stolen is not known, but antiques worth Rs. four to five crores are missing.

The palace was unused for years so the exact time of crime is not known. Ex royals live in Pilot Bunglow, near the palace.

The present owner of the bungalow -- Shatrushalyasinhji, who is the great-grandson of Ranjitsinhji and is a descendant of Ranjitsinji, lives in Mumbai. He is aged 70 years. Police said most of the things stolen by the thieves belonged to Ranjitsinhji and have antique value. Some of the treasured paintings from the royal collection included the works of Rembrandt and Picasso. These could also be among the list of stolen artefacts.

The theft was discovered on Monday when one Jyotiben a resident of ‘Pilot Bunglow’ informed palace care taker Krishnasinh Jadeja about the broken windows. The police says that the palace lacked proper security and its precious artworks were poorly preserved.

The robbers broke into the palace through the glass windows and carefully took away things. "They broke the locks of the palace in such a manner that the security guards, too, did not notice it," the care taker said. The police suspects that there could have been 3-4 thieves involved in the incident, as food packets and snacks were also found inside the bungalow during inspection of crime scene.

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