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Sunday, Sep 26, 2021
Outlook.com

Set To English Music

Astill examines India not only through the lurid glare of cricket, but also the crevices in which the game’s spirit lies

Set To English Music
Narendra Bisht
Set To English Music
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

As conquerors, concepts and cuisines have discovered, Indianisation is inevitable once the borders into the country are crossed. We absorb and ingest, rejig and make our own. This is both inspiring and worrying.

The social scientist Ashish Nandy once wrote that cricket was an Indian game accidentally invented in England. The IPL, by contrast, is an American sport accidentally invented in India. Nandy tells the author of this delightful book about the “rhythm and the algorithm” of the game that finds resonance in South Asia, but this is not a book about why cricket is popular. It is more ambitious in scope—it attempts to find in cricket the echoes of national character—a changing one—and explain India through its favourite sport.

James Astill, political editor of The Economist, was stationed in New Delhi for three years from 2007 and thus idea­lly placed to see the dramatic changes wro­ught by the IPL. A more important qualification is that he is a fully paid-up member of the club of cricket obsessives who are happiest...

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