OCTOBER 28, 2014

The power that books hold

Jonathan Wilson: We may not be strangers to what players say, but we still tend to accord their words greater respect when they're on paper and between two covers
What really happened during the Ashes? That's best read about in a book © Getty Images
AUGUST 07, 2014

The dark subtexts of cricket literature

Samir Chopra: Why reading acclaimed works from decades ago is often revealing
JUNE 20, 2014

A Derbyshire fan in Melbourne

Russell Jackson: How books, magazines and live scorecard updates allowed an Australian teenager to keep track of county cricket in the 1990s
JUNE 06, 2014

The generous lender of cricket magazines

Samir Chopra: Having a neighbour with a cornucopia of cricket literature can be a life-changing experience
JANUARY 30, 2014

In praise of Margaret Hughes

Russell Jackson: The first woman to write to a high standard on the game was treated a bit like a circus freak when she appeared on the scene
JANUARY 03, 2014

What I read in 2013

Russell Jackson: There's a surge for immediacy in the modern media but sports books, especially cricket ones, help you slow down
NOVEMBER 24, 2013

The art of Bishan Bedi in prose

V Ramnarayan: Suresh Menon's biography on the great Indian left-arm spinner is essential reading for all young tweakers
NOVEMBER 20, 2013

The little cricket magazine that endured

Russell Jackson: The ABC Cricket Book was a faithful companion to generations of Australian kids growing up with the game
OCTOBER 02, 2013

Cricket books

The man behind the top hat

Eric Ravilious' vision of cricketers in top hats has featured in 76 editions of the Wisden Almanack, but very little has surfaced about the man himself. Rupert Bates, in Wisden India, charts Ravilious' history from his less-than-attentive stints on the cricket field to possible sources of inspiration for the iconic engraving.

He said the game went on "a bit too long for my liking and I began to get a little absent-minded in the deep field after tea". He made one not out in defeat, and bowled a few overs. "It all felt like being back at school, especially the trestle tea with slabs of bread and butter, and that wicked-looking cheap cake." He went on to record the comment of the Double Crown captain Francis Meynell that his bowling was "of erratic length, but promising, and that I should have been put on before. Think of the honour and glory there."

SEPTEMBER 19, 2013

Indian cricket

Using cricket to tell India's story

The Great Tamasha mirrors India's rise as a nation to its rise as a cricketing power. James Astill, author of the book, documents the evolution of cricket - with its introduction during the British era to its extravagant and controversial avatar, the Indian Premier League. Speaking to Will Davies of the Wall Street Journal, Astill explains his take on the sport that verges on obsession in the country and believes it is an apt tool to describe the India's story.

I wanted to tell that story, but not through the usual all-India generalizations - not from the usual New Delhi vantage. There have been too many books like that already. Rather, I wanted a unifying theme or a story, which would allow me to reflect on India's broader narrative. And it was only natural that I found this in Indian cricket - which is spectacularly rich and politically powerful, also riven with infighting and corruption, and just unbelievably popular. Most of India loves it. And I love it too

SEPTEMBER 17, 2013

What autobiographies tell us

Jon Hotten: Each era of cricket gets the autobiographies that reflect its culture. So what are the current crop of cricketers saying?
SEPTEMBER 10, 2013

Whither the great cricket novel?

Samir Chopra: Cricket fiction has not really floated my boat. Who needs made-up heroes when the real-life ones are so wonderful?
AUGUST 28, 2013

A tale of two Ashes books

Samir Chopra: Two college professors, of politics and philosophy, in two continents, connect through their common love of cricket
JULY 02, 2013

The grand online cricket library

Samir Chopra: We're privileged to be living at a time when there is such a wealth of cricket writing online
JUNE 26, 2013

Indian cricket

The life and times of Dicky Rutnagur

Dicky Rutnagur, veteran journalist for Hindustan Times and the Daily Telegraph passed away on June 21. Tony Cozier in the Stabroek News reminisces about sharing a press box with "the voice, spoken and written, of Indian cricket through three decades"

I cherish a picture of the two of us in the Bangalore Test during the 1974-75 West Indies tour (later carried in Wisden), Dicky's face wreathed in the typically impish smile that signaled he was holding forth with some yarn or the other. He made friends, and admirers, easily. Wherever his career took him, he had the respect of cricketers of all generations. The tributes that have followed his death confirm that impression.

Raju Bharatan in the Hindu, describes why Rutnagur was good enough to cover over 300 Test matches.

He was to cricket what Zubin Mehta was to music. He conducted himself as the quintessential professional. Not for him the literary flourishes of a K.N. Prabhu or an N.S. Ramaswami. Dicky Rutnagur was first a reporter, only then an opinion moulder. His smooth narrative style held you spellbound. This was reflected in the absorption with which his Editorial Musings and his day-to-day account of Test matches were read -- months after the events took place.

Amit Roy in India's Telegraph paints the various facets of Rutnagur's life - the journalist, the man, the cricket lover and devout Zoroastrian.

One reason I wanted Dicky at the Lord's lunch on Friday was because of what he felt about the ground. I had asked him about the world's most beautiful cricketing venues when I had done a formal interview with Dicky in 2005. "Lord's, of course," he replied. "My hair still stands on end when I go through the Grace Gate (the main gate at Lord's) after all these years. It is a privilege to go to Lord's. I will wear my best clothes to go to Lord's always, even for a county match."

Rutnagur was as noted for his pranks as he was for his opinions on the game, writes R Mohan in Mid-day

A few may have suffered at the hands of the press box joker that he was reputed to be. You were not initiated into cricket journalism until you had been doused by his water pistol. Mercifully, he carried it in days when security was not the watchword it is, otherwise he may have had a tough time explaining what a gun was doing amidst the paraphernalia.

JUNE 25, 2013

CMJ and a lesson in reporting on cricket

Jonathan Wilson: His book on England's victorious tour of Australia in 1986-87 entertained a ten-year-old and taught him the value of writing on just the sport
JUNE 23, 2013

A complicated colossus of Kiwi cricket

Paul Ford: Martin Crowe comes across as intense and angry in his latest book, Raw, but appears laidback when you meet him
JUNE 18, 2013

Cricket writing

Chronicles of the ghost-writer

In a piece in Man's World magazine, Sharda Ugra shares her experience of being a ghostwriter on two vastly different cricket biographies - John Wright's Indian Summers and Yuvraj Singh's The Test of My Life: From Cricket to Cancer and Back.

Now that the books are done, in hindsight, I think it would be close to impossible to take on an ultramarathon without either affinity or respect for the subject. A key commandment? Abandon your ego and your own stylistic imprints, replicate the narrator's own voice. The book, after all, belongs not to you but to the sportsman whose life it contains. It is he who must speak, authentically and credibly, to the reader and hold their attention. That's what you're there for.

JUNE 11, 2013

Patrick Eagar: cricket's visual poet

Samir Chopra: For fans who grew up before cricket was available ubiquitously through television, the photographer's work holds special meaning
MAY 13, 2013

The legend of Cardus lives on

Jon Hotten: Neville Cardus' writing is alive, full of daring and almost novelistic observation. Cricket writing owes him a debt of gratitude