5 Cricket Books to Read During Quarantine

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While we wait for live sports to pick-up, the observers and critiques inside us have got an opportunity to find solace in the literature. Cricket might not be the oldest and the most popular sport but it exhibits one of the richest assortments of books and novels.
Before diving deep into this sea of books and novels, the greenhorns might need to get around the jargons and the parlance. This repertoire of five books aims to guide the readers into their groove and help them start their reading journeys.

1. Eleven God's and a Billion Indians: The On and Off the Field Story of Cricket in India and Beyond by Boria Majumdar

India is known as the land of Cricket due to the unrelenting love and support we shower over the players but little do we bother about what's happening beyond the pavilion. “Eleven Gods and a Billion Indians is an authentic and unadulterated account of the little-known, inside-stories of Indian Cricket.
Mr. Majumdar, drawing on his enviable bank of experience and exposure, courtesy the powerful medium of journalism, has produced a work of candor and clamor. He has brought to light – in an unprejudiced manner – the insights of many unheard anecdotes of the game.
These include the accounts of tournaments of the pre-independence era, the matches between Indian sepoys and British soldiers, and also the likes of the Ganguly-Chappell and Kohli-Kumble rifts. Weaving together personal interviews, photographs, and letters, the book asks the questions that need answering and takes the reader to an exhilarating detour through an eclectic range of jovial and unpleasant times in the journey of Cricket in India.

2. From Mumbai to Durban: India's Greatest Tests by S. Giridhar and V.J. Raghunath

Everyone knows the stories of the 2001 Kolkata Test match and the grit and determination shown by VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid and Harbhajan Singh to pull off an unbelievable victory against Australia. This book earnestly revisits this and 27 other Test matches where the Indian players have shown resolve and valor in unfavorable situations irrespective of the result.

The 28 Test matches, divided into 28 chapters represent India’s most important phases as a Cricketing nation, the watershed moments in its Test history, and the people behind it. These chapters are not just short match reports but a heady brew of side stories, notable statements from the commentators, and the swaying emotions of the spectators.

The two authors have blended their anecdotes, newspaper articles, and players' interviews to prepare a must-read scintillating curry for Test Cricket lovers.

3. Playing It My Way: My Autobiography by Sachin Tendulkar and Boria Majumdar (Contributor)

The Master-Blaster, Little-Master, the Run-Machine, and every other name falls short in front of the man who was the singular “God” of the religion of Cricket in India. For the 24 years Sachin Tendulkar played for India, Indian Cricket rose and fell with him. Throughout these years many accounts – real and hogwash – were written about Tendulkar but not one was written by him.
This 500-page autobiography brings to fore every myth and folklore, each one of those 100 majestic hundreds, every Waqar Younis bouncer and every little detail, explained from out there in the middle. Although the book borders innocuousness, what strikes one throughout is the straightforward, uncomplicated approach that Sachin seems to have towards life.
All in all, the thrust and timbre of the book seem the same as the man: Humble, simple, and extremely enjoyable. An absolute must-read if you're a fan of Indian cricket and the little master (who isn’t).

4. A Corner of a Foreign Field: The Indian History of a British Sport by Ramachandra Guha

A history of a British sport which has been adopted and made it's own by India, written by one of the most-respected Indian historians is simply a treat for lovers of Cricket, history, and politics. This book focuses less on numbers and stats and more on the social and political circumstances in the colonial and postcolonial India and the role cricket played in it.
The book unravels the times when seeds of Cricket were sown in India. The book weaves the history from tournaments of religion-based teams, to an amalgamation of regional teams and the transformation the players and their families have seen – from rags to riches – all of this while India was rapidly transforming pre and post-independence.
The author has shrewdly brought forward the lives of two heroes of nascent Indian Cricket. A rather unknown hero 'Palwankar Baloo', the Dalit left-arm slow bowler whom he calls the first great Indian cricketer and CK Nayadu a fearless and aggressive batsman who was a regular presence in the Hindu cricket team. Indian history is Guha's strong point and when he combines it with a game he is passionate about, there is a joyous read.

5.Mid-Wicket Tales: From Trumper to Tendulkar by S. Giridhar, V.J. Raghunath

Written with the passion of a fan and knowledge of a cricketer, Mid-Wicket Tales is for all lovers of Cricket from every cricketing nation. This book is a labor of love, love for the game of cricket in all its multifarious forms and aspects. The art and history of the game are explored through not only snippets and the traditions of the sport but also the vast amount of statistics available on the game's past and present.
The authors, being engineers and management consultants in their lives, bring their considerable knowledge and abilities in quantitative methods to apply to the game's vast myriad of data and glean insights from these numbers. The result is an enjoyable journey through the romance of Cricket’s great known and unremembered characters, its traditions, its laws, and various aspects of the finer points and nuances of the game.

Written by - Rudransh Khurana

Edited by - Arnav Mehra

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