The Best Player Not To Play For India, Hindustan Times [Sunday, January 1st, 2017]

This winter India play thirteen Test matches at home. The last time they played so many was back in 1979-80, when two in three Indians now alive were unborn. This (to me) welcome superabundance of Test cricket has sparked many conversations about what, the popularity of T20 notwithstanding, remains the highest and most satisfying form [...]

 
 
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  The Cricketing Traditions of Gandhi’s Kathiawar, The Telegraph [Saturday, November 30th, 2013]

When, in September 1888, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi travelled to London to study law, he was carrying letters of introduction to four people. One was Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji, who also hailed from Kathiawar. Gandhi did not meet Ranji then, nor did the two come across each another in subsequent decades, when one became a major political [...]

 
 
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  No Game for Good Men, The Telegraph [Saturday, June 1st, 2013]

I detest wearing a tie, and do so only when forced. One such occasion was a formal dinner at All Souls College, Oxford, where opposite me was an Israeli scholar who had just got a job at the University, and was extremely anxious to show how well he knew its ways and mores. He dropped [...]

 
 
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  A Tendulkar Trophy, The Telegraph [Saturday, January 12th, 2013]

Following the well-attended (and incident-free) one-day series between India and Pakistan—the first since the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008—the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Zaka Ashraf, suggested that the two countries play each other regularly, for what might be called the ‘Jinnah-Gandhi’ Trophy. Reading this, I remembered a similar proposal being made, decades [...]

 
 
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  Dravid The Man, The Telegraph [Saturday, March 24th, 2012]

A year ago, while recovering from an asthmatic attack, I found some profound consolation in the morning’s newspaper, whose front page carried a photo of a tall, slim, handsome young man in conversation with a short, plump, middle-aged man of undistinguished appearance. The asymmetry, striking at first glance, was complicated, if not overthrown, by a [...]

 
 
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  THE ARTS OF HUMANKIND, The Telegraph [Saturday, September 30th, 2006]

‘For a sixteen-year-old youth who had yet to begin to shave’, writes Kumar Mukherji in his memoir of life as a music lover, ‘the winter of 1942 would best be remembered as the year when he heard Kesarbai [Kerkar], Roshanara Begum and Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan perform’. Were I to recall the year I [...]

 
 
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  LOT’S IN A NAME, The Hindu [Sunday, September 24th, 2006]

When Mohammed Yousuf is at the wicket I often stop by the TV and watch, for he is one of the more graceful batsmen now playing. I thus caught snatches of the three long hundreds he scored against England earlier this summer, in the course of which at least two commentators referred to him as [...]

 
 
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  CRICKET ON THE VELD, The Hindu [Sunday, March 2nd, 2003]

There is a cricket World Cup now in South Africa, and watching the tournament on TV shall doubtless take me back to the one time I did visit the country. That was back in October 1997. Apartheid had recently been vanquished, and the greatest man the world has known since Mahatma Gandhi was in power. [...]

 
 
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