Beyond the Blues January 24, 2009

How I wrote Beyond the Blues

It was a landmark season with Delhi winning the Ranji Trophy after 16 years, North Zone clinching the Duleep Trophy, and me ending up being the highest run-scorer
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Dear readers,

Though this post has probably got nothing to do with domestic cricket, my book most certainly does have. I'll take the liberty of taking you through the journey of how Beyond the Blues happened. At the insistence of Siddhartha Vaidyanathan, a friend and former Cricinfo journalist, I started keeping a diary for the 2007-08 first-class season.

Even though I had read quite a few rather popular diaries in England, I was sceptical about the interest such a book would generate with the Indian reading audience. People in India don't follow domestic cricket as closely as they do in England and perhaps that's why there has never been a book written about India's domestic cricket. The second issue preventing me from writing the book was the discipline and effort it would require. I knew that once started, I had to commit myself to write almost everyday, and that included days when I would come back home knackered after the day’s play, days when I would fail on the field and writing would be the last thing on my mind and on days when nothing of note would happen and hence would find it equally difficult to write.

But when I did start writing eventually, little did I know that it would become a book some day. I started writing notes at the end of the day and started enjoying it. Within two months into the season I had written over 20,000 words and that's when I realised I needed to see it through till the end. Writing at the end of a day's play was keeping me on my toes during the day as well. Though I wrote on days when I didn't do well, it wasn't a happy feeling. I would constantly tell myself that it would read quite badly in the end if I have a poor season; that I'm commenting and recording everyone's performances while I scored only a handful of runs. A very scary thought indeed. Not that it prevented me from nicking the ball outside off-stump to the keeper, but it did add that extra focus to do well.

A lot of things also conspired to keep me on my toes: the central contract, Delhi's dream run, my personal form and chances of playing for the country. In any case, I couldn't have written the script better. It was a landmark season with Delhi winning the Ranji Trophy after 16 years, North Zone clinching the Duleep Trophy, and me ending up being the highest run-scorer. We also had the first edition of the IPL in the same season to top it all.

Fortunately, finding a publisher wasn't a problem as Harper Collins came to know that I was writing a diary and approached me to publish it. The first hurdle was collecting the pictures for the book. Even though I carried my camera to all venues but my photographic skills are worse than my bowling skills .A photographer friend Ashutosh, who had clicked a lot of pictures during the domestic season, came to my rescue. The next bit was to choose the cover for the book and it was indeed good fun. I went to several book stores, not to buy books but to check out the covers to gain an idea. Finally, we had three options to choose from and I posted them on my facebook profile for the people's verdict and the one that got the maximum number of votes was finalised as the cover. Finding the title was even more difficult and facebook didn't come to my rescue this time, but a friend, yet another Cricinfo journalist, Sidharth Monga came up with this title 'Beyond the Blues' which we found very apt. The idea behind the title was that in India we identify our cricketers with the colour 'blue', these are our 'men in blue', but then there are 'the blues' of playing domestic cricket too which everyone goes through before donning the blue India colours.

The final bit was to finalise the date of release which gave us all a bit of a headache and some heartache too. We were supposed to release it in October but the book wasn't ready by then and we didn't want to do a shoddy job of it and hence postponed it. Then it was difficult to find time during the domestic season and so we decided to do it on December 22 at the Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai which would have been the fourth day of the second Test between India and England. But then 26/11 happened and the plans were scrapped. Celebration was the last thing on our minds at that point of time.

Finally, on January 8 the book saw the light of day with a release function in Delhi. I was overwhelmed with the response on that night. Everyone who I had invited turned up to show their love and support. Virender Sehwag cancelled his advert shoot to be there and the rest fought their way through a heavy traffic jam (thanks to some festival and petrol pump strike) to participate in the event. Mr Arun Jaitley, the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association president, was kind enough to officially release the book.

I can't thank everyone enough for making that day memorable. Now that the book is out and reviews have started pouring in, I'm a bundle of nerves once again. It is even worse than facing a quality bowler for two reasons. One — I've been playing cricket for as long as I remember and hence it doesn't make me too nervous. And second - while facing a quality bowler at least you have the opportunity to do something with the ball hurled in your direction, whereas in this case you could only read what others think about your work with no option to change the outcome. But then that's exactly the reason why anyone writes a book - to know what others think about it. So I'd like to request my readers to feel free to give an honest feedback on Beyond the Blues. And also forgive me for boring you with this post which has nothing to do with the ongoing season but I promise to make up for it in the forthcoming posts.

Cheers.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Out of the Blue, an account of Rajasthan's 2010-11 Ranji Trophy victory. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Aditya Mookerjee on May 16, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    All the best Aakash. I must read the book. I am sure, that it will be an accurate portrait on the current life and times of domestic cricket. You are lucky, that Mr Jaitley released your book.

  • mukesh kunal on March 6, 2009, 16:45 GMT

    hello Aakash, First of all i would like to congratulate you for the first book that was published on 8 th jan.Frankly speaking i'm a big fan of yours and i really like your batting style and how u build up an innings in Test matches which u have played.Its a good thought that u have an initiative writting for the welfare and upliftment of Domestic cricket.In a country like India where cricket is like a religion and people mad about cricketers but domestic cricket get uncovered as no one is interested in it.People do forget that the best talent playing for india do comeout playing and swetting out in this circuit.So i hope that u do cover and write the happenings of domestic cricket and our views on it. Hope to see u again in the national squad playing for the country because its great to be the part of the national team.

  • Khalil on February 21, 2009, 15:33 GMT

    Dear Aakash, it was really useful for us to know the amount of hardship one has to go for accomplishing his views to the common public or in other words the Indian cricket fans. The events which get unnoticed, have been highlighted by you very systematically indeed.We hope you keep writing your views.. All the Best. Thanks.

  • SHRIDHAR on February 18, 2009, 9:31 GMT

    Dear Akash, I just finished your book.Yes I read lot of books/autobiography/fiction etc etc.Honestly I liked your book. It is quite and honest effort and we all grow in life struggling ,I came to Mumbai 22 years back and can associate with your struggles. Please keep writting I like your style and your way of conveying the message without hurting the concerned people.My guess is people will notice and after sometime will respect you and seek your advise. Please keep writting Cheers Shridhar

  • Anonymous on February 13, 2009, 4:06 GMT

    Cricket now a days is suffering from off the field politics/pressure in many cricket playing countries at an alarming rate,latest example is the Srilankan Captain, who eventually has decided to step down after successfully leading his country to world cup final,Srilanka's biggest success after their world cup championship in 1996.Mahela Jawardene, Sourav Ganguly and so many names can be brought on to the list, it is no longer just a decent gentleman's sports but a victim of money,power,politics and sometimes meaningless quest for fame.Hope we'll see a better days sometime in the near future and Cricket will be restored at it's original status.

  • George on February 12, 2009, 19:06 GMT

    Hi Akash, Finally, finally some coverage of the domestic circuit! I vividly remember the super starts u and sehwag gave India down under. Way to go! ciao, George

  • George on February 12, 2009, 19:06 GMT

    Hi Akash, Finally, finally some coverage of the domestic circuit! I vividly remember the super starts u and sehwag gave India down under. Way to go! ciao, George

  • Sekhar on February 8, 2009, 14:06 GMT

    I have completed the book.The bottomline of the book is that life is tough for any cricketer,be it international or domestic.While the latter has to cope with sub-standard accommodation and practice facilities and low crowds for domestic games,the former is constantly under the scrutiny of the people and the media.The former has to cope with media misquotes which,in some cases,turn funny,sometimes bitter too.Steve Waugh never said "You've dropped the cup" to Gibbs.He actually said "You've dropped the match,mate".Look how we all know it as.

    The greatest takeaway for me is Tatenda Taibu's 3-point formula to tackle the demons that play in your mind.

    Wishing you good luck for the Ranji ODs.Hope you enjoy the 2008-2009 season and play a key role in your team's way to the top.

  • Bhanu pATELL on February 7, 2009, 1:40 GMT

    Dear Akash, I nnever forget your job in Austrelia as tormentor for Stev. Waugh. Did Saurav Ganguli is calling you. Get more agressive and kids learned from you.

  • tilak jha on February 4, 2009, 16:03 GMT

    hi! Aakash.I hardly could imagine abt such a book. M not praising coz I asked fr an appointment n got in just one call.Yeah! though man is loved fr simplicity and not being difficult.I hv nt read d book till now but m sure it wud b a great reading.

  • Aditya Mookerjee on May 16, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    All the best Aakash. I must read the book. I am sure, that it will be an accurate portrait on the current life and times of domestic cricket. You are lucky, that Mr Jaitley released your book.

  • mukesh kunal on March 6, 2009, 16:45 GMT

    hello Aakash, First of all i would like to congratulate you for the first book that was published on 8 th jan.Frankly speaking i'm a big fan of yours and i really like your batting style and how u build up an innings in Test matches which u have played.Its a good thought that u have an initiative writting for the welfare and upliftment of Domestic cricket.In a country like India where cricket is like a religion and people mad about cricketers but domestic cricket get uncovered as no one is interested in it.People do forget that the best talent playing for india do comeout playing and swetting out in this circuit.So i hope that u do cover and write the happenings of domestic cricket and our views on it. Hope to see u again in the national squad playing for the country because its great to be the part of the national team.

  • Khalil on February 21, 2009, 15:33 GMT

    Dear Aakash, it was really useful for us to know the amount of hardship one has to go for accomplishing his views to the common public or in other words the Indian cricket fans. The events which get unnoticed, have been highlighted by you very systematically indeed.We hope you keep writing your views.. All the Best. Thanks.

  • SHRIDHAR on February 18, 2009, 9:31 GMT

    Dear Akash, I just finished your book.Yes I read lot of books/autobiography/fiction etc etc.Honestly I liked your book. It is quite and honest effort and we all grow in life struggling ,I came to Mumbai 22 years back and can associate with your struggles. Please keep writting I like your style and your way of conveying the message without hurting the concerned people.My guess is people will notice and after sometime will respect you and seek your advise. Please keep writting Cheers Shridhar

  • Anonymous on February 13, 2009, 4:06 GMT

    Cricket now a days is suffering from off the field politics/pressure in many cricket playing countries at an alarming rate,latest example is the Srilankan Captain, who eventually has decided to step down after successfully leading his country to world cup final,Srilanka's biggest success after their world cup championship in 1996.Mahela Jawardene, Sourav Ganguly and so many names can be brought on to the list, it is no longer just a decent gentleman's sports but a victim of money,power,politics and sometimes meaningless quest for fame.Hope we'll see a better days sometime in the near future and Cricket will be restored at it's original status.

  • George on February 12, 2009, 19:06 GMT

    Hi Akash, Finally, finally some coverage of the domestic circuit! I vividly remember the super starts u and sehwag gave India down under. Way to go! ciao, George

  • George on February 12, 2009, 19:06 GMT

    Hi Akash, Finally, finally some coverage of the domestic circuit! I vividly remember the super starts u and sehwag gave India down under. Way to go! ciao, George

  • Sekhar on February 8, 2009, 14:06 GMT

    I have completed the book.The bottomline of the book is that life is tough for any cricketer,be it international or domestic.While the latter has to cope with sub-standard accommodation and practice facilities and low crowds for domestic games,the former is constantly under the scrutiny of the people and the media.The former has to cope with media misquotes which,in some cases,turn funny,sometimes bitter too.Steve Waugh never said "You've dropped the cup" to Gibbs.He actually said "You've dropped the match,mate".Look how we all know it as.

    The greatest takeaway for me is Tatenda Taibu's 3-point formula to tackle the demons that play in your mind.

    Wishing you good luck for the Ranji ODs.Hope you enjoy the 2008-2009 season and play a key role in your team's way to the top.

  • Bhanu pATELL on February 7, 2009, 1:40 GMT

    Dear Akash, I nnever forget your job in Austrelia as tormentor for Stev. Waugh. Did Saurav Ganguli is calling you. Get more agressive and kids learned from you.

  • tilak jha on February 4, 2009, 16:03 GMT

    hi! Aakash.I hardly could imagine abt such a book. M not praising coz I asked fr an appointment n got in just one call.Yeah! though man is loved fr simplicity and not being difficult.I hv nt read d book till now but m sure it wud b a great reading.

  • Sekhar on February 2, 2009, 6:36 GMT

    * It is also encouraging to see the friendship you have developed with players like Simon Katich.The IPL is a great opportunity for domestic level players to forge such friendships with international stars.A typical case is Badrinath looking up to Mike Hussey for inspiration,Yomahesh,Maharoof and Mohammad Asif learning from "pace guru" Glenn McGrath etc.

    * The only grouse I have is the price.I feel the book is priced slightly on the higher side.Either the price should be lesser or the number of pages a little more.FYI,"From the Corner of Foreign Field" by Ram Guha has 400+ pages and is priced at 325.Nevertheless,the content matters more and I hope you add more details to your next book,lessening the price.

  • Sekhar on February 2, 2009, 6:25 GMT

    Hi Aakash, I've finally managed to get my hands on your book after three futile attempts to get it from Landmark Chennai.I finally got it from Landmark,Bangalore.I've read till the Dec 31 account and have got a few things to say:

    * It was encouraging of you to return to play the cricket you are good at instead of worrying over not being selected for the tour to Aus.The sound of willow hitting leather is what keeps cricketers going.This sound is music to a cricketer's ears and nothing,not even the so-called dirty money being offered,can surpass the thrills one gets when hearing bat strike ball.

    * The first thing I do upon buying a cricket book is to leaf through the images section.Seeing a group of players packed into a Mahindra mini-van(that was called the team bus)is proof enough to show how well-managed domestic cricket is.

  • Ashish on January 28, 2009, 22:35 GMT

    Hey Akash, been reading your blog frequently over the past few months and am happy as a clam :) Its my "crack" as I am addicted to Indian Cricket :)

    Looking forward to reading your book - Hopefully some online book store can ship it to me here!

    Cheers

    Ashish

  • Abhishek on January 28, 2009, 19:23 GMT

    Hey Akash

    Congrats Man on release of your book. You are good writer.. and better batsman. So keep on batting. Can you please tell me where I need to buy the copy of your Book online? I am currently located in US.. But I hope they can mail it or something.. Do let me know if you get this messsage. Its been pleasure reading all your articles. I liked the one where you described about the food for domestic cricketers. Can you write one more column about food as international cricketer. That is always good to know. Otherwise one can never get insight what's the life off the field for cricketer. Also one more question for you, Do you read the comments that you get on cricinfo articles??? Bcoz I always wonder if you even follow it or not?? The most imp thing is you keep doing your batting going for delhi.. Hayden got back very late to international cricket.. still made it.. You might be destined with same fortune.. But for that keep scoring tons of runs for Delhi..

    Take Care Buddy

  • Kunal Sharma on January 28, 2009, 14:37 GMT

    hi Aaskash,

    How have you been? Good to see you doing well and glad that the book has come out to such rave reviews. In Ottawa now and will see hwo to get hands on the book.

    Best of luck and maybe there might be a way you can come up to Canada for the summer season here. Let me know if you are interested, I might know a club or two that might be interested.

    regards, Kunal

  • Rahul on January 25, 2009, 7:44 GMT

    Dear Akash, Congratulations on completing a great book. It is like scoring a brilliant match winning hundred in a tough test match. Must be very satysfying for you. It is v pleasing to see a international player pouring his heart out for cricket lovers to read the accounts of unknown territory that is indian domestic cricket. I hope you inspire others to more such ventures. Some years back railaways managed to win a ranji tropy season and i read a great great article on cricinfo about the team and there strugle from hopeless situation and background. I just wish if some player from there team would have written about there experience. Anyways..all the best to you. Looking forward to see more and yes if you can pls write more about the characters your team has like veeru, gautam, nehra, shikhar etc it will be facinating read.

  • Saptangshu Chaudhuri on January 25, 2009, 7:44 GMT

    Hello Mr. Chopra I am from Kolkata and am an ardent follower of Ranji Trophy, unlike 99% of Indians who watch cricket but donot follow the domestic league. It is a pity that BCCI donot also advertise it as much as our football counterpart do. Thank you for bringing to light the snippets from it . The acecdotes you give also adds color to the entire perspective. Keep posting more. Also searching for your book . Cant wait to put my hands on it...Cheers.

  • rajeev on January 25, 2009, 5:43 GMT

    Hi Akash, Congratulations on the release of your book. I read the pieces you wrote for Cricinfo and thinking what a great find we have here. Sadly we have so few cricketers in India who are cerebral and think deeply on issues or have the ability to string together a decent sentence. You are someone who inspite of being in the thick of things, looks with a certain detachment. Brilliant. May this be the first of many more books.

  • Sriram on January 25, 2009, 4:27 GMT

    Dear Aakash, I dont know if you remember me,I have played first class cricket with you.Am too glad that you have come up with this idea of writing this book,sure it must make interesting reading.Will make sure I get a copy myself and even though i am not an avid reader,will make all efforts to finish reading. Regards and all the best. Sriram.

  • Shekhar Kale on January 25, 2009, 1:19 GMT

    Hi Akash, I have tried to follow the Indian domestic cricket over last several years. The only picture we get is from the scorecard - and that doesn't tell us anything apart from dry figures. Your articles in the past year have added some colours and stories to these figures. The Ranji, Duleep and Devdhar matches show us a glimpse of future superstars. I appreciate your efforts to give us the sniffs into what goes on in a cricketers world in domestic circuit. I have been following your writing since you started writing and I have enjoyed all of them. Last year you gave us a taste of cricketer's experiences in England's clubs and this year in domestic cricket. With that I believe that next step for you is to write an international crickter's diary ! I wish you best luck for that and to see you in our national team. Regards.

  • Sumeet on January 24, 2009, 21:19 GMT

    Aakash, Great feeling it must be, eh! I have been trying to buy the book, but unfortunately i guess it hasnt released in US. The amamzon isnt carrying it, can you provide some details as to where i could find the book.

  • Amit Bajaj on January 24, 2009, 20:58 GMT

    Akash,

    I am glad you finally wrote a book on domestic cricket in India. In fact the best bit is that you did so in a Ranji winning season (16 years; you lads sure did keep us Delhi fans waiting for a long time).

    I have been trying to find the book online, unfortunately an internet search for it keeps returning – “Beyond the blues – Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression”. Now I am almost sure, you did not write that one  , so could you please point me to the correct website which is selling your book. And yeah, before I part - please don’t keep us waiting for another 16 years for the next season win.

  • Rao VK on January 24, 2009, 19:50 GMT

    Keep on, keep going on Akash. What you are doing is creating history with your blogs and books. By opening up the happennings in the Indian domestic circuit, you are making people sit up and consider how they plan to go about doing their job as it is more open to the public eye. The cricket loving public will also be truly inspired to go and watch the domestic matches as they kind of feel they are in the process and not left out of it completely. Being an ex cricketer i fully appreciate your columns and your writings and can vouch for what your write, having expereinced it myself. Come what may please do not stop writing on indian cricket. You are leaving behind a legacy and creating a new arena in our cricketing structure, hopefully inspiring others to follow in your footsteps.

  • CS Manish on January 24, 2009, 19:23 GMT

    Congratulations on your first book (of many, we hope)! I am eagerly awaiting my copy to be shipped to me from India. In the mean time, as I have suggested a few times already, I think you ought to start writing a book on the Indo-Pak tour and the Indo-Australia tour of a few years ago when you were in the squad. An insiders view of those epochal tours will be just great. Good luck!

  • thomas on January 24, 2009, 16:04 GMT

    Dear Akash, I wish you all the best on the launch of your new book. I hope it dose well. I wonder if it is available in the Middle East of not i will certainly pick up one from the Airport when I reach India. I hope you have covered some hitero unknown events which shows that all is not what it seems it to be. Domestic cricket is often negelected in favour of the more glamorous internationals but with the IPL comming in more talent will be discovered. Even its counterpart the ICL did throw up a lot of talents. i wish Delhi all the best in the Dehodhar Trophy and hope you all do well there also. Another good idea would have been to allow us more birds eye view of what is written in the book.Do you have a web site or alternatively Harper Collins could run a synopsis of the book also just to keep the fans in the loop. i must congratulate you on your style of writing it is so easy to read.

  • Guru Sukavanam on January 24, 2009, 13:44 GMT

    Hey Akash- One of the journalists I respect is Suresh Menon -he is a no-nonsense kind of person.For him to commend your book as the best by any Indian cricketer means a lot -I can't wait to read the book. I follow your writing on cricinfo -Keep up the good work -Good Luck

  • Jamie Dowling on January 24, 2009, 11:15 GMT

    Thanks for painting a picture of Indian domestic cricket, I'm sure it will be as much of an eye opener to me in England as to anyone else reading it. Domestic cricket is essential to making a good test match squad and deserves more attention than it gets. There's no need to apologise for your post - the processes behind the writing of a book are often as enlightening to the reader as the content of the book itself. Anything that helps better our understanding of this wonderful game is a good thing.

  • praneet on January 24, 2009, 10:25 GMT

    hey aakash..good work..looked for your book at crossword Mumbai.. it had'nt arrived last week..eagerly waiting for it. I love ranji trophy I'm curious to know why mumbai is such a successful team domestically even when in recent times very few players from mumbai have come in the national team..would like to know your views.

  • Anonymous on January 24, 2009, 9:15 GMT

    Aakash, I'm really waiting to read your book. It's a side of Indian cricket that I haven't been exposed to. We all hear about the stars and their performances at a national level. It would be interesting to know how things are at other rungs. Besides, from your writing, it comes across that your views are objective and honest. You also come across as a deep thinker. Very impressive!

  • Alex Paul on January 24, 2009, 8:59 GMT

    Hello Akash Im yet to read your book, but I ve been following your jottings in this space.Its been extremely refreshing & inspiring to an extent.You are the prime eg: of getting dropped from the national team for committing the cardinal sin of being a 'TEAM MAN' & not taking care of your individual targets.I had thought you were just capable of occupying the crease but your exploits in the domestic one dayers especially last season has been anything but outstanding.With your mates Gambhir & Sehwag doing extremely well & Jaffar doing everything right I suppose your road back in will be really tough.But for your articulation skills I ardently pray to the God almighty that you make a fairytale comeback & then release your second book which should be among the most inspiring of books.Wishing you all the very best in whatever you do & hoping to read about your success soon.

    Alex

  • Salim Tyrewala on January 24, 2009, 8:12 GMT

    I enjoy your column very much. I'll be buying the book as soon as it shows up in the local bookstore. Keep up the batting and the writing. We have our own Ed Smith now!

  • saravana on January 24, 2009, 7:22 GMT

    Hi Akash, Congratulations and all the very best on the release of your new book. The idea of writing about Indian domestic season is a good one. Planning to buy the book. Are you doing a book tour to Bangalore sometime? It would be great if I could get my copy signed by you.

  • srikant on January 24, 2009, 5:40 GMT

    Hey Akash. congratulations. i am waiting for the book- i am based in melbourne and following your writings. in fact i have asked my friend in india to purchase the book and courier it to me. but the initial reports i read were quite great. cheers all the best

  • Anonymous on January 24, 2009, 5:39 GMT

    Aakash is better batsman than what we saw and is better writer than i ever thought. Having covered domestic cricket for 39 years, i feel we still are not concerned about the standard of pitches and umpiring. In junior cricketboys keep abusing loudly but umpires just refuse to act. Aakash must keep writing on domestic cricket. He is right in the middle to observe things. Let him not worry about the BCCI. When i proposed Talent Resource Development Wing, they accepted in 24 hours. It's also the duty of cricketers and journalists to compliment the efforts of the BCCI. Keep going Aakash.

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  • Anonymous on January 24, 2009, 5:39 GMT

    Aakash is better batsman than what we saw and is better writer than i ever thought. Having covered domestic cricket for 39 years, i feel we still are not concerned about the standard of pitches and umpiring. In junior cricketboys keep abusing loudly but umpires just refuse to act. Aakash must keep writing on domestic cricket. He is right in the middle to observe things. Let him not worry about the BCCI. When i proposed Talent Resource Development Wing, they accepted in 24 hours. It's also the duty of cricketers and journalists to compliment the efforts of the BCCI. Keep going Aakash.

  • srikant on January 24, 2009, 5:40 GMT

    Hey Akash. congratulations. i am waiting for the book- i am based in melbourne and following your writings. in fact i have asked my friend in india to purchase the book and courier it to me. but the initial reports i read were quite great. cheers all the best

  • saravana on January 24, 2009, 7:22 GMT

    Hi Akash, Congratulations and all the very best on the release of your new book. The idea of writing about Indian domestic season is a good one. Planning to buy the book. Are you doing a book tour to Bangalore sometime? It would be great if I could get my copy signed by you.

  • Salim Tyrewala on January 24, 2009, 8:12 GMT

    I enjoy your column very much. I'll be buying the book as soon as it shows up in the local bookstore. Keep up the batting and the writing. We have our own Ed Smith now!

  • Alex Paul on January 24, 2009, 8:59 GMT

    Hello Akash Im yet to read your book, but I ve been following your jottings in this space.Its been extremely refreshing & inspiring to an extent.You are the prime eg: of getting dropped from the national team for committing the cardinal sin of being a 'TEAM MAN' & not taking care of your individual targets.I had thought you were just capable of occupying the crease but your exploits in the domestic one dayers especially last season has been anything but outstanding.With your mates Gambhir & Sehwag doing extremely well & Jaffar doing everything right I suppose your road back in will be really tough.But for your articulation skills I ardently pray to the God almighty that you make a fairytale comeback & then release your second book which should be among the most inspiring of books.Wishing you all the very best in whatever you do & hoping to read about your success soon.

    Alex

  • Anonymous on January 24, 2009, 9:15 GMT

    Aakash, I'm really waiting to read your book. It's a side of Indian cricket that I haven't been exposed to. We all hear about the stars and their performances at a national level. It would be interesting to know how things are at other rungs. Besides, from your writing, it comes across that your views are objective and honest. You also come across as a deep thinker. Very impressive!

  • praneet on January 24, 2009, 10:25 GMT

    hey aakash..good work..looked for your book at crossword Mumbai.. it had'nt arrived last week..eagerly waiting for it. I love ranji trophy I'm curious to know why mumbai is such a successful team domestically even when in recent times very few players from mumbai have come in the national team..would like to know your views.

  • Jamie Dowling on January 24, 2009, 11:15 GMT

    Thanks for painting a picture of Indian domestic cricket, I'm sure it will be as much of an eye opener to me in England as to anyone else reading it. Domestic cricket is essential to making a good test match squad and deserves more attention than it gets. There's no need to apologise for your post - the processes behind the writing of a book are often as enlightening to the reader as the content of the book itself. Anything that helps better our understanding of this wonderful game is a good thing.

  • Guru Sukavanam on January 24, 2009, 13:44 GMT

    Hey Akash- One of the journalists I respect is Suresh Menon -he is a no-nonsense kind of person.For him to commend your book as the best by any Indian cricketer means a lot -I can't wait to read the book. I follow your writing on cricinfo -Keep up the good work -Good Luck

  • thomas on January 24, 2009, 16:04 GMT

    Dear Akash, I wish you all the best on the launch of your new book. I hope it dose well. I wonder if it is available in the Middle East of not i will certainly pick up one from the Airport when I reach India. I hope you have covered some hitero unknown events which shows that all is not what it seems it to be. Domestic cricket is often negelected in favour of the more glamorous internationals but with the IPL comming in more talent will be discovered. Even its counterpart the ICL did throw up a lot of talents. i wish Delhi all the best in the Dehodhar Trophy and hope you all do well there also. Another good idea would have been to allow us more birds eye view of what is written in the book.Do you have a web site or alternatively Harper Collins could run a synopsis of the book also just to keep the fans in the loop. i must congratulate you on your style of writing it is so easy to read.