To look at a field of activity as vast as ‘Indian sports’ through the lens of one newspaper is akin to looking at the changing landscape in time through a single window. It has the virtue of constancy. Conceived and compiled by Boria Majumdar and culled from the columns of The Times of India, this book charts our sporting journey in modern times.
The book’s chief appeal lies in the beginnings of European sports in India, including early glimmers of a great cricketing nation. ‘The Laws of Cricket, as revised by the Marylebone Club’ follows a match report between the Dum Dum and Barackpore Cricket Clubs (“Barrackpore went in and Fortune at first seemed disposed to frown upon them.”), both from 1840. Cricket gathers pace thereafter: ‘Parsee’ cricket flourishes, the Bombay Triangular is set up, and English teams start visiting, culminating in Arthur Gilligan’s MCC team in 1926 and Jardine’s team of 1933. The grand march of Indian cricket from that first Test in June 1932 is, of course, faithfully chronicled.