Advertisement
Monday, Oct 25, 2021
Outlook.com

Only The Fittest Shall Play

Can cricket be a leveller in India? Adiga’s eleven find it out the tough way.

Only The Fittest Shall Play
Photograph by Getty Images
Only The Fittest Shall Play
outlookindia.com
2016-09-13T18:10:34+05:30

Cricket is a useful prism through which to view society, as Shehan Kar­­unatilaka (Chinaman) and Jos­eph O’Neill (Netherland) have shown. In India, however, cricket fiction adopts the Bollywood rags-to-riches format. By subverting that, Selection Day casually becomes the best Indian novel on cricket. Yet, it is not a cricket novel. As with his Booker-winning The White Tiger, Adiga has a message, which means characters and situations are cut to fit.

Cricket is usually seen in India like boxing was in America: as a vehicle for social mobility and class advancement. But is it really so, asks the author. Does cricket erase caste marks or merely reinforce them?

The surface story is simple enough. Talented schoolboys Radha and Manju, pushed hard by their father, Mohan Kumar, and marked out as the future of Indian cricket, are put through their paces by coach Tommy Sir, who convinces businessman Anand Mehta to sponsor them in return for a percentage of future earnings. The mixture of boyish innocence, parental ambition...

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Drugs, Bollywood And Politics: The Dark Underbelly Of Mumbai

Drugs, Bollywood And Politics: The Dark Underbelly Of Mumbai

Intertwining threads connect the business in illegal drugs with the city’s high and mighty.

Cruise Drugs Case: Video Shows Hotelier Kunal Jani Inside NCB Office While Aryan Khan Was Arrested

Cruise Drugs Case: Video Shows Hotelier Kunal Jani Inside NCB Office While Aryan Khan Was Arrested

Aryan Khan, who is currently lodged in Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail, was arrested on October 2 on a cruise in connection to the possession of illegal drugs.

OUTLOOK EXCLUSIVE: New York Yankees Investors Keen To Buy An IPL Team

OUTLOOK EXCLUSIVE: New York Yankees Investors Keen To Buy An IPL Team

The owners of the two new IPL teams will be named by the BCCI on Monday in Dubai. Three foreign entities, including Manchester United, are in the fray.

Love, Longing And Shah Rukh: Growing Up With DDLJ In The Time Of Mandal And Kamandal

Love, Longing And Shah Rukh: Growing Up With DDLJ In The Time Of Mandal And Kamandal

Shah Rukh Khan called himself a peddler of love. That’s better than the pitches selling religion. Love is all we need now.

Advertisement