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Stephen's & Hindu in T20 battle

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OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT   |   Delhi   |   Published 20.12.08, 12:00 AM

New Delhi, Dec. 19: St Stephen’s and Hindu, two of Delhi’s oldest colleges, will tomorrow renew a century-old rivalry over a game of Twenty20 cricket, as a politician-cum-sports administrator from a third prestigious college watches them.

Their physical location ensures the two colleges are constantly engaged in a face-off. But tomorrow, the colleges separated by a road will take on each other in the newest avatar of a game through which they have taken turns at whipping each other.

Arun Jaitley, BJP leader and senior office-bearer at the Delhi and District Cricket Association, will be the chief guest. Jaitley studied at the Sri Ram College of Commerce, barely a kilometre from Hindu and St Stephen’s. All three are part of Delhi University.

Gautam Gambhir may at present be giving the Englishmen nightmares, but he practised the art on numerous occasions against St. Stephen’s.

Till about three years back, Gambhir turned out for Hindu College. For Stephanians, his MA there appeared to stretch on forever, despite their best wishes urging him to rush through the course.

Already an established Ranji Trophy player, Gambhir would routinely whack St Stephen’s bowlers.

Arun Lal, now a commentator, is the best-known cricketer that St Stephen’s can claim as its own.

Not always though has Hindu beaten St Stephen’s at cricket. During the 1960s and even earlier, St Stephen’s was often the dominant team.

Earlier this year, the rivalry between St Stephen’s and Hindu extended to the golfing greens, with alumni from the two colleges competing at the Delhi Golf Club for a championship modelled on the Ryder Cup. The two colleges also play basketball matches annually.

The rivalry has often been described as India’s version of the constant contest between the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The two universities annually meet, on March 12, in ‘the boat race’ that is today a major television attraction. The rowing competition began in 1829, and Cambridge currently leads the ‘series’ 79-74. Oxford is the defending champion though.

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