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Of Cricket and Other Sports

Vijaya Ramaswamy

By Harsha Bhogle
Puffin Books, Peguin India, 2010, pp.VI+182, Rs. 175.00

By Khyrunnisa
Puffin Books, Peguin India, 2010, pp. 176, Rs. 199.00


Cricket is in the air and the euphoria following Indias lifting the World Cup, has still not left us. What better time to review two books, one of which is all about cricket and does not even cast a glance at other sports and the other which begins with cricket and has been introduced by a cricket celebrity? Butterfingers is about an Under Fifteen cricket team who are also underdogs in the game with no field of their own and no assets except the warm patronage of an ex-army man, Colonel Nadkarni who allows the children to use his land for their cricket practice. Half way through the book, many minor and major tragedies happen. Colonel Nadkarni dies and his will bequeathing the land to the Green Park Higher Secondary School, is untraceable. In all eventuality, the children will lose their cricketing space and the school its playground. The Captain of the junior team turns fifteen and so stands disqualified. The hero of the story is Amar Kishen who is named Butterfingers by his friends because he is incapable of holding anything without dropping it and this unfortunately includes the cricket ball. In a situation fraught with tension which could not have been bettered by P.G.Wodehouse, the God of Tea-cup Storms, the team has to win the Under 15 Inter-School Limited Over Trophy if they want to retain their cricket field/playground. The climax of the story is how they did it. I made my nine year old son read the book and carefully noted down his observa-tions. He expressed his sympathy with Amar alias Butterfingers and Co., when their archrivals decided to include girls in their team. When the Green Park team Captain Ajay got injured and Amar had to take over, he gave vent to his anxiety. My son gave a sigh of relief when Butterfingers rose to the occasion to take the necessary catches and the team won the cup and their beloved playground. What rating will you give the book, I asked my son? Five Stars was his immediate response. But his only reply to my further query Why, was to say that it was because it was all about cricket. I used my son once again as the sounding board for the other book Let's Play. He browsed through the book but I suspect the only story he read was the first one about ...

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