World Cup 2023: Seven Well-Known Indian Authors’ Books About Cricket

Cricket is a popular, lively sport all around the world. It crosses national boundaries by bringing people together via a common love of the game. As a sport, it combines talent, strategy, and teamwork, enthralling spectators with exhilarating moments. Cricket is a national emblem that inspires a strong sense of patriotism and belonging even outside of the playing field. Rival nation matches spark passion, promoting patriotism and national pride. Undoubtedly, as a game and a cultural phenomenon, cricket possesses a unique power to arouse intense emotions and bring people together. The players are just as famous as the sport, and fans can never get enough of the backroom negotiations, top-secret planning, victory celebrations, and fresh approaches following defeats.

Here we list 7 books about cricket by Indian writers.

The Commonwealth Of Cricket by  Ramachandra Guha 

The Commonwealth of Cricket is a first-person account of this astonishing transformation. The book traces the entire arc of cricket in India, across all levels at which the game is played: school, college, club, state, country. It presents vivid portraits of local heroes, provincial icons, and international stars.

Cast as a work of literatureThe Commonwealth of Cricket is keenly informed by the author’s scholarly training, the stories and sketches narrated against a wider canvas of social and historical change. The book blends memoir, anecdote, reportage and political critique, providing a rich, insightful and rivetingly readable account of this greatest of games as played in the country that has most energetically made this sport its own.

Shadows Across the Playing Field by Shashi Tharoor

Shadows across the Playing Field tells the story of the turbulent cricketing relations between India and Pakistan through the eyes of two men – Shashi Tharoor and Shaharyar Khan – who bring to the task not only great love for the game, but also deep knowledge of subcontinental politics and diplomacy. Shashi Tharoor, a former UN under-secretary-general and man of letters, is a passionate outsider, whose comprehensive, entertaining and hard-hitting analysis of sixty years of cricketing history displays a Nehruvian commitment to secular values, which rejects sectarianism in sports in either country. Shaharyar Khan, a former Pakistan foreign secretary, is very much the insider, who writes compellingly of his pivotal role as team manager and then chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board at a time when cricket was in the forefront of detente between the two countries. In their essays, the two authors trace the growing popularization of cricket from the days of the Bombay Pentangular to the Indian Premier League. They show how politics and cricket became intertwined and assess the impact it has had on the game. But above all, their book is a celebration of the talent of the many great cricketers who have captivated audiences on both sides of the border. If politics and terrorism can at times stop play, the authors believe that cricket is also a force for peace and they look forward to more normal times and more healthy competition.

‘1971: The Beginning of India’s Cricketing Greatness’ by Boria Majumdar and Gautam Bhattacharya

1971 was the year that changed Indian cricket forever. Accustomed to seeing a talented but erratic Indian team go from one defeat to another, a stunned cricketing world watched in astonishment as India first beat the West Indies in a Test series on their home turf, and then emerged victorious over England-in England. Suddenly, the Indian team had become a force to reckon with.

Boria Majumdar and Gautam Bhattacharya’s book is a thrilling account of the 1971 twin tours, that brings to life the on-field excitement and the backroom drama. Against a canvas that features legends: Pataudi and Wadekar, who captained India to the two sensational series victories abroad; Sardesai, Durani, Viswanath, Engineer, Solkar, Abid Ali; the famed spin quartet of Bedi, Prasanna, Chandrasekhar and Venkataraghavan; and a young batsman named Sunil Gavaskar who was making his debut-it is the tale of a young country ready and eager to make an impression on the world stage.

Fifty years later, this is a wonderful book to relive those glory days with.

‘Stargazing: The Players in My Life’ by Ravi Shastri

From being Champion of Champions to one of the world’s top cricket commentators to Team India’s head coach, Ravi Shastri has an incomparable perspective when it comes to the game of cricket. In Stargazing: The Players in My Life, the legendary all-rounder looks back at the extraordinary talent he has encountered over the years.

Who is the former Indian captain who didn’t do full justice to his talent? Or that bruising bowler who went on to become a best friend? What was the most important lesson the legendary Clive Llyod taught him? How does Shastri set aside his personal bond with Virat Kohli in his role as coach?

Full of never-before-revealed anecdotes, Stargazing, co-written with Ayaz Memon and featuring illustrations by Shiva Rao, offers a glimpse into how champions from across the globe have inspired one of the world’s greatest ODI players and Team India’s most successful Test cricket coach.

​’Sunny Days’ by Sunil Gavaskar

Sunny Days is the fascinating account of the growth of one of India’s greatest batsmen, one whose astonishing feats on the cricket field have caused innumerable records to be re-written and set close to impossible targets. How did the story of Sunil Manohar Gavaskar begin? What was the genesis of the man who grew to be a legend in his own lifetime? The story starts with a baby being switched after birth – luckily restored by an eagle-eyed uncle, he grows up to almost break his mother’s nose with a mighty hit (a childhood habit that persists in later life), plays good cricket in school and college, inevitably graduates beyond university and trophy cricket, is occasionally booed by the crowd as his uncle happens to be a selector and then bursts into the international cricket scene with his test debut at Port of Spain at the age of twenty-one. The year is 1971, it is Gavaskar’s year and sunny days have finally begun for Indian cricket. By the end of the 1975-76 season Gavaskar has played 147 first class matches, amassed 11574 runs and thirty-eight hundreds. He has played twenty-four matches in eight Tests, with 2123 runs and eight hundreds. And there is still nearly a decade left before the glory-days of the Kotla and Chidambaram stadiums. A fluently written book with Gavaskar’s usual self-effacing modesty imparting a rare grace to its pages, Sunny Days is a must-read for all cricket fans.

​’The Winning Way’ by Harsha Bhogle and Anita Bhogle

The Winning Way: Learning from Sports Managers The answer to questions like, “What makes a sports champion?” and “Why do only some teams keep winning while others win only for a while and then lose?” are stored between the 226 pages of The Winning Way. It is a self-help book that gives the key elements that make a winning team. Answering key questions on management and strategy, Harsha Bhogle, a veteran sports commentator and Anita Bhogle, an advertising and communications consultant, explore the topic in detail. They highlight some important points to remember, making them easier to interpret and understand by comparing them to certain aspects of cricket. Questions like, “What do sporting champions do?”, “What makes winning teams?”, “Who is a good leader?” are answered by the two IIM alumni in ways that will benefit managers. The reader is encouraged to combine their abilities with the right attitude and the passion to excel, so they can achieve the best out of who they are and what they do. This book is a contemporary, refreshing approach to leadership. It aims to change the way people look at the goals in their lives and sets out ways to achieve them. About the Authors: Harsha Bhogle, Anita Bhogle After graduating from IIM Mumbai, Harsha Bhogle worked in advertising and sports management before finding his niche in the broadcasting world. For the past twelve years, he has presented cricket on ESPN and Star Sports. Anita Bhogle has two post-graduate degrees from IIM Mumbai and IIM Ahmedabad. She has spent the past 10 years running a communication consultancy and qualitative research agency, and scripting and producing three TV ad commercials.

​’The Lords of Wankhede’ by W.V Raman and R. Kaushik

The Lords of Wankhede explores the evolution of Indian cricket in the 28 years between the two World Cup successes. Seen through the eyes of a former Test cricketer, who has been associated with the game for four decades, and a cricket writer with 30 years behind him, this book provides a perspective of the successes and strife, the trials and tribulations that made the journey of Indian cricket so fascinating over the 28 years bookended by Lord’s and Wankhede. An absorbing revelation for the millennial, a stab of nostalgia to the middle aged and an essential for the cricket romantic, this book lays bare the conditions that led to India becoming a cricket behemoth.

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