British pluck and Parsi ducks

The idea for a Parsi Gymkhana was first aired at a meeting held in February 1885 at the Ripon Club which was attended by prominent patrons of Parsi sport. Backed by the leading lights of the Parsi community — men like Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy, Jamsetji N. Tata and his elder son Dorab, Dinshaw Petit, Pherozeshah Mehta, Kharshedji N. Seervai and S. S. Bengalee — the newly constituted Gymkhana succeeded in obtaining a grant of land from the government on the Kennedy Sea Face which lay to the northwest of the contested Esplanade.

--  Edited extracts from Cricket Country: The Untold History of the First All India Team by Prashant Kidambi reprinted with permission of the publisher Penguin Random House India.

Members of the first Parsi cricket team, photographed at Sheffield Park, venue of the opening match of their 1886 tour of Britain