1. Brave New Pitch: The Evolution of Modern Cricket by Samir Chopra
Cricket as we knew it even 10 years ago has undergone a drastic change. From the leisurely Tests to the entertaining ODIs to the blink-and-you-miss-it T20s, the national-boards–based gentleman’s game has not exactly transitioned smoothly into the television-rights and media–driven, technology-, and professional-league–dependent sledgers’ playground.
The financial muscle of Indian cricket has made it the boss, and turned the old guard – England and Australia – into, well, the lackeys. If the spirit of cricket is to survive all this, it needs the balancing of economic, political and sporting concerns.
Samir Chopra takes a hard look at cricket’s tumultuous present, and considers what could and should lie ahead.
2. The Unquiet Ones by Osman Samiuddin
The Unquiet Ones is a retelling of the dramatic, tortured, heroic and tumultuous story of Pakistan cricket. It is a comprehensive portrait of not just a Pakistani sport, but a national majboori, a compulsion whose outcome can often surprise and shock, and become the barometer of everyday life in Pakistan, tailing its ups and downs, its moods and character.
Osman Samiuddin captures the jazba of the men who played for Pakistan, celebrates their headiest moments and many upheavals, and brings to life some of their most famous – and infamous – contests, tours and moments.
3. If Cricket Is a Religion, Sachin Is God by Vijay Santhanam and Shyam Balasubramaniam
But let us remind you, this book came first, and put all doubts to rest. Buy it and be mesmerized by the irrefutable stats the authors have put together.
4. A Million Broken Windows: The Magic and Mystique of Bombay Cricket by Makarand Waingankar
If the god of cricket features in the list, it is only right that the significance of the city that nurtured him be acknowledged.
A Million Broken Windows is the story of how the city of Bombay, almost the birthplace of Indian cricket, has consistently dominated the game of an entire country. It illuminates the various facets of a cricketing culture that is infused with the spirit of the metropolis.
Chock-full of anecdotes and analyses, the book discusses various leagues, tournaments, players, the fans and the city to paint a complex picture of the game, and of Bombay and its maidans.
5. Eye on Cricket: Reflections on the Great Game by Samir Chopra
If you are a crazy, obsessive cricket fan, this book is here to remind you that you are not alone. In Eye on Cricket, Samir Chopra elaborates on the game that has entranced him his entire life in the several lands he has called home.
A childhood centred on cricket, the obsessive fan phase, how the personal and the political merged at various points, expatriate experiences of cricket, historical regrets and remembrances, and cricket writing and media – this book has it all!
Nostalgic, passionate and meditative, this is a look at the Empire’s most famous export, its history and its cultural significance.
6. The HarperCollins Book of World Cup Trivia by Suvam Pal
What is Dav Whatmore’s unique record at the World Cup even though he was never a part of the Australian playing XI in the tournament? Which World Cup player went on to become his country’s presidential advisor? Which Indian cricketer didn’t get a chance to bat, bowl and field on his ODI debut in a World Cup game? Which cricketer piloted the special flight that brought Arjuna Ranatunga’s victorious Sri Lankan team from Lahore in 1996?
If you couldn’t answer all these questions, you need to get hold of Suvam Pal’s definitive collection of interesting trivia and factoids about the cricket World Cup. No run-of-the-mill trivia here. Just fascinating and rarely known facts about the game that holds a billion Indians, and more around the world, in thrall.