Hindustan Times – Rs.699, 450pp; Simon Schuster

If there is one sub-genre in literature that historically produces work of both high literary quality and sports historiography, it is that of ‘cricket writing’.

Summary

  • Majumdar’s newest book on Indian cricket, Eleven Gods and a Billion Indians, is the latest weighty addition to the ever-growing bibliographical list.
  • Majumdar asserts in the book, “to write an accurate historical account of Indian cricket one needs to first understand that it is not simply a history of what is happening on the field.
  • The book’s range and content is centrifugally expansive — including sepoys batting for India in the 1850s, to “cricket’s cash box revolution”, “Monkeygate”, captain-coach spats, intricate highs-and-lows in the Indian cricketing saga, Sachin as a God-like figure, present day demigod Kohli, a nod to Indian women’s cricket (for a future book), among others.
  • Commenting on the book and wider aspects of cricket at the Mumbai launch recently, the current Indian coach Ravi Shastri and the former Australian captain Michael Clarke attested to the fact that the current Indian team is perhaps the best and most well rounded one with an incredible bench strength to boot.
  • Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma, also on stage, spoke with grace, humility and passion about this book’s extraordinary latitude — “the on and off the field story of cricket in India and beyond.”

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