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Ramachandra Guha once said he writes on history for a living and on cricket to live. The States of Indian Cricketmarries the craft of history to the life of cricket in India and is described by its author as ‘the product of a lifelong addiction to the most sophisticated sport known to mankind.’
Expanding, updating, revising, and redeploying the material in his two earlier cricket classics (Wickets in the East, 1992; and Spin and Other Turns, 1994), Guha here draws upon the memories of several generations of cricket lovers to give us wonderful sketches of India’s cricketers, the forgotten as well as the famous: from C.K. Nayudu and Vinoo Mankad, to Bishen Bedi and Sunil Gavaskar, to Saurav Ganguly and Anil Kumble. Using the device of imaginary all-time India Elevens he provides insights into the cities and states in which Indian cricket was forged. Equally, we learn much that is relatively unknown about Indian cricket’s ‘golden age’ in the 1970s.
We find thus, for the first time within the covers of a single volume, something that adds up to an informal, anecdotal, and immensely readable history of Indian cricket, a book which complements Guha’s celebrated work on the sport’s social history, A Corner of a Foreign Field (2002).
In a long Introduction, Guha describes the cricketing lore he imbibed and the cricket he experienced—processes which led, ultimately, into his becoming one of the world’s authorities on cricket in general, and India’s foremost cricket writer in particular.
The publication of this book will be welcomed by lovers of cricket, conoisseurs of fine writing, and fans of Ramachandra Guha.
Ramachandra Guha is an internationally well-known writer, historian, biographer, and columnist. His books include Savaging the Civilized: Verrier Elwin, His Tribals, and India; Environmentalism: A Global History; An Anthropologist Among the Marxists and Other Essays; and The Last Liberal and Other Essays. His social history of Indian cricket, A Corner of a Foreign Field, was awarded the Daily Telegraph/Cricket Society Book of the Year prize for 2002. Reviewers compared this book with C.L.R. James's classic work Beyond a Boundary.