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Asad ur Rahman Kidwai

WISDEN ANTHOLOGY 1978-2006: CRICKET'S AGE OF REVOLUTION
Edited by Stephen Moss
Penguin, Delhi, 2007, pp. 1328, Rs. 1500.00

MEN IN WHITE: A BOOK OF CRICKET
By Mukul Kesavan
Penguin India, New Delhi, 2007, pp. 296, Rs. 395.00

NOT QUITE CRICKET: THE EXPLOSIVE STORY OF HOW BOOKMAKERS INFLUENCE THE GAME TODAY: REVISED AND UPDATE 2007 EDITION
By Pradeep Magazine
Penguin India, New Delhi, 2007, pp. 184, Rs. 200.00

THE PENGUIN WORLD CUP CRICKET COMPANION 2007
By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
Penguin India, New Delhi, 2007, pp. 344, Rs. 199.00

VOLUME XXXII NUMBER 3 MARCH 2008

It is raining Cricket from everywhere: television, hoardings, ads wherever one looks Cricket and cricketers seem omnipresent. Last year saw Indian Cricket falling to the lowest depths as was seen in the early departure from the One Day World Cup, and then peaking to win the inaugural Twenty 20 World Cup. No wonder there has been a surfeit of books on cricket.   The Bible of Cricket Wisden has come out with an anthology which spans the period between 1978-2006. At 1,328 pages the casual reader might get turned off, but one must remember that the book is a distillation of more than 40,000 pages. Without doubt, it is a treat for cricket lovers. The 28 year old period saw a lot of changes which have transformed the face of cricket as we know today. The advent of Packer which led to the Limited Overs version of the game to coloured clothing and night cricket, occurred in this period and the anthology takes a good look at not only at that, but the resumption of cricket ties between India and Pakistan after a drought of 16 years, the 1983 World Cup triumph and the beginnings of Twenty 20 Cricket. Though the size of the tome is intimidating, it offers everything from serious analysis of trends to statistical highlights to trivia. It even has a section on ‘characters’ of Cricket, players who may not have excelled in any field but were such colourful characters that it will be difficult to forget them in a hurry. A must read for every Cricket fan, if the pocket allows.   In his delightful book, Mukul Kesavan makes a stinging attack on the Wisden list of 100 Best Test Innings, because it does not feature even a single knock of Sachin Tendulkar. Men in White can be called memoirs of a nostalgic cricket fan who laments the slide of Men in White playing Test Cricket and the rise of commercially attractive limited overs cricket. However it is not just nostalgia, the book questions the way One day Cricket is played and gives suggestions to make it fairer and better. When batsmen can bat for 50 overs, why are 10 over limits placed on bowlers? Or why are there feilding restrictions? These are pertinent questions. Kesavan writes with a wit which is rare: Consider this take on Azharuddin: ‘Azhar should have been the Mohammad Rafi of Indian batsmanship, but he ended up as its Talat Mahmood … pipped at ...


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