Although the writing is far from sparkling, doesn’t adequately explore the characters involved, and is biased towards the well-known (like Lala Amarnath and C.K. Nayudu), it does provide some insights. Did you know, for instance, that Amarnath was offered Rs 10,000—a princely sum in 1935—to ensure that Freelooters won the prestigious Moin-ud-Dowla Cup finals? (He refused, going on to score a century). Or that J.B. Khot, captain of the Dadar Parsee Colony Sports Club, was suspended for "selling a match" during the Kanga League in 1948? Some of us would know that Amarnath was sent back during the Indian team’s tour of England in 1936 or that Nayudu was excluded from the team in 1937. But we may not know the machinations, egos and jealousies that led to these episodes. And how many are aware that "had (the famous) Ranjitsinhji not played English games (including cricket), he would have never become an Indian prince". So, if you’re a cricket buff who doesn’t mind the game’s unsavoury aspects, this is the book to read.