Cricketing Sagas — Imprinted

Cath, who passed me the AW chain baton, mentioned how it was during her first vacation without her family that she took to writing seriously. Evidently, she was in England with a group of friends when the incurable writing malady infected her. And alongside writing and frolicking with friends, Cath’s post also talks about her watching county cricket.

Aha! Cricket. One of those words that make me smile naturally. For, the game of cricket is one of the biggest loves of my life. As I write this post on the eve of India‘s Independence Day, I can proudly say being passionate about cricket adds as much to my Indianness as the food I eat and the language I speak do.

The sport has become so integral to the Indian ethos, that in his book, The Tao of Cricket, eminent sociologist, Ashis Nandy, professes Cricket is an Indian game accidentally discovered by the British…

So when my brother recently handed me this hefty tome as a belated birthday gift, I was elated beyond measure. Steve Waugh, the former Australian cricket captain, had remained my favourite for most of his cricketing career. Not just because of his skill with the game, but for his indomitable mental toughness and his commitment to social causes, which includes his work with an institute in India that is a haven for children of leprosy patients. I would always be stunned by his ability to singlehandedly rescue his team from near-losses. His record as captain is no less spectacular. Under his leadership, the Australian team became an impenetrable wall of attack, which no team in the world could match in terms of either flair or tactics.

That’s about what I’ve managed to read of the book thus far. Admittedly, I am a slow reader and bulky books always intimidate me. But Waugh does a great job telling his life storyβ€”he maintains a conversational tone, is admirably honest, and gives a fascinating glimpse into facets of his personality that remained masked by cricket. For who could ever tell, this gritty player, who even came across as a cold and calculated strategist while leading his side, detested being in the spotlight? Or that he wrote long, wistful letters to his teenage love (and later his wife), while on his first tour outside home in England? Steve Waugh is also candid about the uneasy and somewhat strained relationship with his twin Mark, who himself was part of the same squad his brother captained, and has an illustrious track record to his credit.

Hopefully, I would finish the Waugh treatise in a few months. I must, because I also have to read the other two books you see in the picture. I am particularly interested in A Corner of a Foreign Field, which presents “The Indian history of a foreign sport.”

What sports do you like? Does its history draw you? Or the life stories of its legends?

A sport teaches us so much, even if we don’t play it.

And now, may I pass the baton to Matt at Mad Scientist Matt’s Lair.

The entire chain:

Peregrinas

Pass the Torch

The Road Less Travelled

Fireflies in the Cloud

Even in a Little Thing

The Secret Government Eggo Project

Curiouser and Curiouser

At Home, Writing

Mad Scientist Matt’s Lair

I, Misanthrope – The Dairy of a Dyslexic Writer

Beyond the Great Chimney Production Log

Flying Shoes

Everything Indian

The Hal Spacejock Series

Organized Chaos

Of Chapters and Reels

Just a Small town girl

Midnight Muse

Kappa no He

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24 thoughts on “Cricketing Sagas — Imprinted

  1. You’ve been in my thoughts the past few days – I’m happy to hear the flood waters are receding.Great post, as always. Oh and for me, even a Grisham novel is a bit much to take on, so you’re doing great with that massively thick book!

  2. Being american you understand that my knowledge of cricket is slim to none except for the abstract? But I do know what the “bat” looks like lol.

  3. Bhaswati,How is it that you always know what books I’m looking for without me saying anything? I’ve been wanting to learning more about the game of cricket so that I can actually understand it to the point of writing about it. You’ve come to the rescue with the sources I need before I took the time to search for them. Thanks a bunch! You’re the best!Simi

  4. I can tell how passionate you are about cricket, I remember when you excitedly shared the results of matches with me πŸ˜› Here in Peru the king sport is soccer and basically everything else is left aside. Me, I’m not a big soccer fan (something most Peruvians find outrageous, lol). I actually prefer basketball and hockey. The problem is am never sure of the rules and I can’t seem to enjoy the pro games to the fullest.What I do LOVE is WWE wrestling :)) Though you might argue it’s a sport, lol.

  5. Glad to hear you’re ok.I am going to look out that Tao of Cricket book – it sounds right up my alley. And, if you liked Steve Waugh’s autobiography – have you ever read Mike Atherton’s? Very different personality, but very interesting book. I really miss my cricket. Thanks for putting a smile on my face.

  6. Interesting that you should mention leprosy patients – I’d recently read a short biography of Dr. Paul Brand, who made several breakthroughs treating leprosy in India. It’s good to hear of a famous athlete being involved in that cause.

  7. Kelly, thank you so much for the good wishes. Yes, hopefully, by the end of this year, I would finish reading this tome. LOLBK, you are doing just fine with cricket. One of my American editor friends would always tease me saying, “Cricket? Oh, you mean those noisy nighttime bugs, right?”Simran, I am so pleased to know my posts help you find the books you’re looking for. Glad to be of help :)Cesar, yes, that would indeed amount to a national shame–not following soccer. LOL. And wrestling, well I have serious reservations about calling that a sport of anykind. But you are allowed. πŸ˜‰

  8. Cath, I am the one who needs to thank you! For finally giving me a chance to mention cricket on my blog. I like Mike Atherton a lot. Will surely check out his book, now that you mentioned it. Matt, Steve Waugh is indeed setting up a fine example with his charity work in India. Yoda, you have no idea how much I envy you for that. Watching cricket in the Caribbean has got to be amongst the most divine of experiences. Oh, and don’t forget to taste the food. BS, consider it added to my list. Jeff, I don’t know even as much about NFL as you know about cricket. So no worries πŸ˜‰

  9. For me, it’s badminton and soccer all the way, but my hub is a cricket nut, so I do watch all the games when he’s in town – I can’t seem to escape them – he always has the TV on nice and loud! πŸ™‚ I like the sound of those cricket books you write about,Bhaswati,they’d make a nice gift for any cricket-loving friend. I will have to make a note of the titles.

  10. Hi Bhas,Having lived in Australia I know how well respected Steve Waugh is and how much, the household name. He also has a brother who played in the matches with him.He is a good soul.By the way, hope you’re keeping well.love

  11. Bernita, yes, I do have some hockey-loving Canadian friends, who try to match my cricket craziness. :PLotus, your hubby is my friend right away! Good of him to initiate you into the cricketing doctrine by keeping the TV volume high. :)Susan, I am doing good. Hope you are as well. Yes, I mentioned Mark Waugh, Steve’s twin who played with him, in the blog post. Great players, both of them. Matt, that would be me trying to figure out baseball, so I fully empathise with you! No need to give it another shot. I don’t want to give you a splitting headache. LOL

  12. What a wonderfully civilised post about a truly great game (and Waugh – never forget Waugh). Yes, I am Australian and yes, it shows!Gillianhttp://gillpolack.livejournal.com

  13. Glad to hear you are doing well!I’m afraid I have no knowledge at all of cricket, but your enthusiasm is great!Popping in to say hello – been so busy promoting the book I haven’t had a chance to visit my blog buddies lately. Hope you have a great day!

  14. Hey, Gill, that’s so nice of you to say that. Glad to have an Aussie reading this :)Marti, so good to see you drop by! I have to visit your blog for the latest updates. The book promotion sounds exciting indeed πŸ™‚

  15. I’m not much of a sports person which is kind of sad considering I live in a state where people refer to american football as “a way of life” or a “religion” depending on who you talk to. However, I am also intimidated by bulky books. I bought Roots by Alex Haley about three or four years ago and still haven’t gotten pass the first chapter. Oh well, someday.I’m glad you’re doing alright. πŸ™‚

  16. D.T., although I don’t know about too many books on cricket, A Reader’s suggestion (Beyond the Boundary) is an excellent read to begin with. I hope you can get your hands on it. South, cricket is a religion in India and cricket fans are fanatic about the game. You won’t be considered a true Indian if you don’t show much interest in cricket. LOLWishing you good luck on finishing Roots even as I plod through the Waugh autobiography πŸ™‚

  17. I live in a cricket-mad country and still don’t understand the game. I’ve watched matches and been told to shut up when I asked a question during a crucial moment. Heck, I’ve even watched a Bollywood movie about cricket – Lagaan – and I still don’t understand it… πŸ˜€ Ah well. Give me basketball any day. :DStill, the movie was fun to watch, and I highly recommend it. πŸ™‚

  18. Laurie, I feel ecstatic to see another Lagaan enthusiast here. It’s not for no reason that it is considered one of the all-time great Hindi films. As I type, I am just waiting for the start of an India-Sri Lanka match. How much more exciting can it get!

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