Project Description

Ramachandra Guha once said he writes on history for a living and on cricket to live. The States of Indian Cricket marries 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.