Purshottumdas G. Sukhadia

Dada ji Cricket
Purshottumdas Ghelabhai Sukhadia

An year and a half back as our family was gearing up to celebrate the 100th Birth Anniversary of my Grandfather Late Mohan Lal ji Sukhadia who was the Chief Minister of Rajasthan and popularly known as The Architect of Modern Rajasthan, a picture was shared on my Facebook wall by my Fufaji: Shri ML Goyal sb. of Purshottum Shield.

Purshottam shield
PURSHOTTUM SHIELD

Immediately I called him to enquire about the same and a part of our family history was revealed though hazy but nevertheless it was something to be proud of !! It seemed that spirit of philanthropy and giving back to the society went back 4 generations i.e. to the times of my Great Grandfather Late Purshottamdas Ghelabhai Sukhadia.

As a family we were always aware about his love for cricket and his cricketing abilities as this was reason the family relocated to Nathdwara from Jhalawar on the insistence of the then Tilkayat of Shrinathji Temple, Nathdwara Late Shri Damodar Lal ji Maharaj Sb. who wanted to learn cricket from my Great Grandfather but not that he was instrumental in starting one of the oldest Cricket Shield Tournament in India in 1912 : Purshottam Shield. The Shield has his image and name on it.

So with some basic information and the help of google I was finally able to write a letter to The Secretary of P J Hindu Gymkhana, Mumbai under whose aegis this Shield has been taking place since 1912 and within a week of writing this letter I got a call from him. The feeling of getting in touch with the roots was something we both were excited about. He was kind enough to send me the minutes of the meeting that took place in 1912 to start this Shield, its history and the winners since 1912.

The history goes like this :-

Late Purshottamdas ji Sukhadia was a school teacher in Mumbai, a great lover of the game of cricket and a well known player of Mumbai and Saurashtra, who instituted the shield out of his meagre savings in 1912 for Hindus in order to unearth Hindu cricketing Talent but was later made open to all communities.

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Every cricket lover in Mumbai city, from young to old, is well aware of the Purshottam Shield Cricket tournament, which is the oldest and most prestigious cricket tournament. The P. J. Hindu Gymkhana, which has been hosting this tournament, since its inception; has added various Prestigious Shields under the Purshottam Shield, for best performers in Batting, Bowling and Fielding aspects of the game.

Till date, this is the most prestigious and sought after Shield that every Top Cricket Body in Mumbai dreams to add to their Tally, year after year. Well Known cricketers like Vijay Merchant, Vinoo Manked ,Bapu Nadkarni, Madhav Mantri, Eknath Solkar,Sunil Gavaskar, Umesh Kulkarni, Sachin Tendulkar and many more great cricketers have participated in this tournament. http://www.magzmumbai.com/purshottam-shield-cricket-tournament-in-its-100th-year

With an open invite from the managing committee of the P J Hindu Gymkhana, I am hopeful that as a family we will be able to rekindle old associations and contribute to the sport and the family name.

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