By Ramachandra Guha

C. okay. Nayudu and Sachin Tendulkar clearly determine during this eye-catching heritage of cricket in India, yet so too—in arresting and unforeseen ways—do Mahatma Gandhi and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The Indian careers of these nice English cricketers Lord Harris and D. R. Jardine supply a window into the operations of Empire, whereas the extreme lifetime of India's first nice gradual bowler, Palwankar Baloo, introduces the still-unfinished fight opposed to caste discrimination. Later chapters discover the contest among Hindu and Muslim cricketers in colonial India and the extreme passions now provoked while India performs Pakistan. an incredible, pioneering paintings, this is often additionally a beautifully-written meditation at the ramifications of recreation in society at huge, and on how activity can impact either social and political history.

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19 This is a narrative of mutual distaste. The sahib thought the natives unfit to bat or field, although they might bowl – after a fashion – for a wage and tips alongside. He also thought that the Indian believed him to be a fool to play cricket. In retirement, the old colonial generally looked back on the club as the high-point of his life in India. When, in 1964, a cricket club in southern Calcutta came to celebrate its centenary, a former member wrote feelingly of ‘My Days of Enjoyment at Ballygunje’.

A group of bored officers, posted there in the 1860s, instructed their Tommies to get packing material from the regimental store. This was converted into a matting wicket, while discarded fish-netting was made into a cricket net. However, there was only enough netting to go behind and on the off-side of the wicket. The leg-side was wide open, and 30 yards away lay ‘the historical lake into which King Thebaw and his enterprising little child-wife Soup-i-lat popped all their cousins and aunts who stood in the way of the succession to the throne’.

Thus, when the Zoroastrian Cricket Club won the tournament in 1869, it distributed its prize money of 100 rupees as follows: 25 rupees for a newly constructed Parsi gymnasium, 20 rupees for Parsis recently impoverished by cholera, 5 rupees for the poor box, 20 rupees to buy bats for its ablest players, and 30 rupees reserved for the club’s kitty. S. S. Bengalee’s gift worked marvellously in overcoming any residual inhibitions that the orthodox had as regards the English game. 36 The conservatism of culture was easily vanquished by the spirit of competition.

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