The Ranji Trophy is a domestic first-class cricket championship played in India between teams representing regional cricket associations.

The competition is named after England and Sussex cricketer Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji (Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, also known as “Ranji”)

Ranjitsinhji (10 September 1872 – 2 April 1933), often known as Ranji, was the ruler of the Indian princely state of Nawanagar from 1907 to 1933, as Maharaja Jam Saheb, and a noted Test cricketer who played for the English cricket team. He also played first-class cricket for Cambridge University, and county cricket for Sussex.

Ranji is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time.Neville Cardus described him as “the Midsummer night’s dream of cricket”. Unorthodox in technique and with fast reactions, he brought a new style to batting and revolutionised the game.

The first-class cricket tournament in India, the Ranji Trophy, was named in his honour and inaugurated in 1935 by the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala. His nephew Duleepsinhji followed Ranji’s path as a batsman playing first-class cricket in England and for the England cricket team.

source: wikipedia