Two cricketers from Bengal

While every possible career statistic is tabulated for prominent cricketers, there are sometimes ambiguities in their place of birth.

We start with Wriddhiman Saha (who spells his first name in an unusual way). Where was he born? Cricinfo gives this:

This says that he was born in Saktigarh in West Bengal.

Most people who travel a bit will know of this Saktigarh:

This is a little east of Barddhaman and is on the main line from Kolkata to northern India.

However, if we look at his Wikipedia article:

his birthplace is given as Siliguri in West Bengal. But there is no contradiction, as there is a lesser-known Saktigarh which is close to Siliguri. While it does not have a railway station, here is proof of its existence:

The cases of Mohammad Shami is more interesting.

First we see his cricinfo profile:

Here it is mentioned that his birthplace is Amroha in Uttar Pradesh. This is near Moradabad on the road to Delhi. Wikipedia also gives the same birthplace.

He started his cricketing career in Bengal and the Kolkata Knight Riders.

At that time, all the references mentioned his birthplace as “Jonagar, Bengal”.

There is no town in Bengal with this spelling. However, someone pointed out that this may have meant Joynagar, an outer suburb of Kolkata best known for the sweet “Joynagar er Moa”:

This place is served by this station, on the suburban line to Lakshmikantpur and Namkhana:

Even today some references like the Playfair Annual of 2022 still show his birthplace as “Jonagar, Bengal”.

While Mr Shami is one of the key members of India’s current team, he could not have possibly been born in two different places over a thousand km apart. Presumably someone connected with the Bengal cricket association (perhaps with the connivance of KKR) produced some document to show that he was born in Bengal.

If I am wrong, then why is his birthplace now listed in UP? Strange that none of the large tribe of cricket journalists commented on his moving birthplace.

Notes from the White House-birthplaces

The US Presidency has run in an unbroken chain since 1789. Here we look at the birthplaces of all the US Presidents from Washington to Biden.

This may be useful for the state codes:

Note that states joined the US at different times. After the original 13 states, the newcomers joined steadily and the last 5 to join were OK (1907), NM and AZ (1912), AK and HI (1959).

Some notes:

Biden was the second President (after Buchanan) to be born in PA state. Buchanan is generally considered to be one of the worst Presidents.

If Trump had suddenly ceased to be President, Mike Pence would have been the first President to be born in Indiana state.

If this eventuality occurs now, Kamala Harris will be the second President born in California and the first from Northern California (Oakland). The only other President born in California is Richard Nixon, in Yorba Linda near Los Angeles.

There are several large states where no President has been born.

By population, these would include Florida (#3), Michigan (10), New Jersey (11), Washington (13) and Arizona (14). At the other end of the scale, #50 (Wyoming) and #48 (Alaska) have had no representatives, although Vermont (#49) does have Calvin Coolidge.

In many cases, a person may have largely grown up in a state which is not the state of his/her birth. This is more likely to happen in the US than India and most European countries.

Quick quiz – Birthplaces

A trivia quiz on non-obvious birthplaces:

The real challenge is getting the answer without referring to the net.

Answer in Facebook’s comments page. I will post the correct answers after about 24 hours-say 2200 IST on 1 Sep.

  • In which city was Shashi Tharoor born?
  • Which recent US Presidential candidate was born in the Panama Canal Zone?
  • Which prominent tennis player from the US was born in Germany in 1959?
  • Which town in Austria was Adolf Hitler born in?
  • Which country was the Australian cricketer and coach Dav Whatmore born in?
  • Which state of the US was Barack Obama born in?
  • Which prominent politician from Tamil Nadu was born in Kandy in Sri Lanka?
  • In which city was Rajiv Gandhi born?
  • Which Nobel-prize winning physicist was nominally a Tamilian but was born in Lahore?
  • On which Greek island was Prince Philip, (the present Duke of Edinburgh) born?
  • In which city was General Pervez Musharraf born?
  • In which city was Field-Marshal Manekshaw born?


  • London, UK
  • John Mc Cain (Obama‚Äôs opponent in 2008)
  • John McEnroe
  • Brunau (or Brenner)
  • Sri Lanka
  • Hawaii
  • MG Ramachandran, CM for several years.
  • Mumbai
  • Chandrashekhar (Nobel Physics winner in 1983)
  • Corfu
  • Delhi
  • Amritsar

References: these birthplaces can be checked from Wikipedia or other standard references in the articles on the concerned persons.