Crick In The Tale

This is the sort of compilation you can pick up on a rainy day when you feel like a dip into the past.
Indian Cricket Through The Ages: A Reader
By Edited By Boria Majumdar
OUP Pages: 425; Rs 595
This is the sort of compilation you can pick up on a rainy day when you feel like a dip into the past. Boria Majumdar deserves credit for digging out the essays and articles that make up this Reader. It documents cricket’s arrival, spread and advance in India with a rich collection that includes references dating from a 1737 compendium to a research paper on Lagaan. And from nearly all the regions that have contributed to cricket becoming such a part of our daily lives.

Pity is, it makes only a passing mention of the event that scarred Indian cricket forever: match-fixing. If two chapters can be spared for Lagaan, there is no reason why a single piece couldn’t have been included on the scandal. It’s not as though the book focuses only on the brighter side of our cricket history: there’s ample play for l’affaire Amarnath (1936). It’s also disappointing that there is just one piece capturing the flavour of the sport in the South; Travancore-Cochin and Hyderabad have rich legacies. Calcutta gets two chapters, both of which are long-winded and could have been abridged.

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