World’s oldest polo ground in Kolkata turns 150

pat Williamson ground, besides having the distinction of being the world’s oldest polo club, had also played cupid to late Maharani Gayatri Devi and Maharaj Man Singh, years ago. It was here the royal love story was unfolded and bloomed, culminated in a wedding to remember. A reason why Maharani, even at the age of 92, came back to this ground and spent hours cheering up players.

Calcutta Polo Club, where the rules for the modern polo were set, has just turned 150.

The penultimate week (December 18 to December 25) of this year will see representatives of all surviving royal families in the country congregating at Pat Williamson ground, recollecting and sharing many such anecdotes, during the Ezra World Cup, organised to celebrate 150 years of

existence.

According to Keshaav Bangur, president of Calcutta Polo Club and Chairman of BFL Corporation, “We are not after new members. Nor are we after sponsors. What we need today are committed patrons to create the right infrastructure, which will encourage the younger generation to join this sport. Our aim is to keep the heritage of Calcutta Polo Club alive and encourage youngsters and Polo enthusiasts to take up Polo by making it more

accessible.”

Besides India, teams from the US, Italy, Brazil and Indonesia will participate. And you could expect the likes of Raima Sen and Riya Sen, princesses-turned-actresses, who used to accompany Maharani Gayatri Devi, to add a dash of glamour. If things pan out as planned, apparently, a British royalty would also grace the occasion. “Hope the tradition of having a representative from the British Royal Family on any landmark event of the club, which was founded by two British soldiers — Captain Robert Stewart and Major General Joe Shearer — way back in 1862, will not be broken this time,” say the

members.

Bangur, for his part, neither confirms nor denies. “We are trying. We have already extended our invitation. Let’s see.”

ritwikmukherjee@mydigitalfc.com

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