November 24, 2010

Beyond boundaries

Sambit Bal
Screenshot of ESPNcricinfo World Cup 2011 travel site
The Bangalore travel homepage  © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
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At ESPNcricinfo we are always trying to expand our range. We are fortunate that the canvas and the tapestry of cricket often allow us to venture out of our crease without feeling silly. That said, though, a travel section on a cricket site isn't as radical as it might seem: in fact, having got the section up and running, we're wondering what took us so long.

All sports are shaped by their environment. There is a reason why cricket has struggled to find a base outside the Commonwealth nations. Within cricket, different countries, regions and states provide the game with its varied hues and textures. Not only do the Indians play their cricket in a distinctly different style and manner from the West Indians, Mumbai cricketers play the game differently from those in Delhi, just as cricketers in Yorkshire are different from those in Lancashire.

To fully understand and appreciate cricket, you need to understand the places it's played in. And as cricket's biggest tournament travels to the World Cup, we have built a section that will allow you to explore the host countries before the World Cup begins.

This isn't merely a travel site about where to stay and what to eat and see. Those essentials are all there, but we've also made an attempt to find the cricket pulse of each city, explore its cricket heritage, and share cricket experiences.

Screenshot of ESPNcricinfo World Cup 2011 travel site
Mahela's Must-Dos in Colombo  © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
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If you've ever wondered why Bangalore has always produced cricketers who are gentlemanly and self-effacing, though still confident, Suresh Menon has an explanation. Soumya Bhattacharya explores matters of the heart when he writes on what Eden Gardens and Sourav Ganguly mean to the residents of Kolkata. Elsewhere, Sharda Ugra writes about watching cricket in Colombo when it felt like West Bank on an island, and Jayaditya Gupta describes the not immediately apparent charms of Ahmedabad.

Even the recommendations come cricket-flavoured. We tell you about the best places to stay, eat, party or shop in near the cricket grounds, and there's expert advice from resident cricketers themselves. Yuvraj Singh has a list of five must-dos for his hometown Chandigarh, one of which suggests a trip to "the most trustworthy and efficient petrol station in all of Punjab". Kumar Sangakkara gives you the lowdown on what to do when in Kandy. There's also Parthiv Patel on Ahmedabad, Mahela Jayawardene on Colombo, Shakib Al Hasan on Dhaka, and lots more.

Each of the 13 host towns for the World Cup has its own homepage. Here's the one for Delhi, to get you started.

Fresh articles will be added these pages in the coming days. And you too can contribute. What advice would you give to tourists coming to your cities? And what shouldn't they miss doing before leaving? Tell us also about your memories of watching, playing or anything else cricket-related. To write in, click here here.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by g vardhan on (November 25, 2010, 12:33 GMT)

cricinfo : u r becoming better n better day by day... indeed a very nice effort.

Posted by sajjan0007 on (November 25, 2010, 8:51 GMT)

espncricinfo is the best site in the world.

iieeee like it.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sambit Bal
Editor-in-chief Sambit Bal took to journalism at the age of 19 after realising that he wasn't fit for anything else, and to cricket journalism 14 years later when it dawned on him that it provided the perfect excuse to watch cricket in the office. Among other things he has bowled legspin, occasionally landing the ball in front of the batsman; laid out the comics page of a newspaper; covered crime, urban development and politics; and edited Gentleman, a monthly features magazine. He joined Wisden in 2001 and edited Wisden Asia Cricket and Cricinfo Magazine. He still spends his spare time watching cricket.

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