Ahmedabad: Arguably the most famous piece of willow in Indian cricket history, has been stolen.
The cricket bat of Maharaj Ranjitsinhji, after whom the Ranji Trophy is named, was stolen by unidentified men from the ancestral palace in Jamnagar, Gujarat.
The security guards at the palace, Jam Bungalow, apparently noticed the theft on Monday morning and informed the police.
According to the police, the robbery possibly happened sometime in the past fortnight or month.
The robbers broke into the palace through glass windows, ransacked 15 rooms and damaged paintings and left with antiques.
“We don"t know exactly how many expensive articles have been stolen. At the moment, we only know that a theft has taken place," police officer said.
According to sources in the palace, most of the stolen articles belonged to Ranji and confirmed that a bat was among them. It is unclear if the bat dates from Ranji"s glory days in the 1890s and 1900s, when he was the world"s greatest batsman in cricket"s “Golden Age", and if he had used it in a Test.
The palace houces several precious articles such as diamond-studded crown, swords and paintings, many of which the burglars had damaged.
The present owner of the bungalow--Jam Shatusaliaji, who is a descendant of Ranjitsinhji, lives in Mumbai. The palace premises have been sealed for further investigations.