Just not cricket?

Published By: Times Literary Supplement | Published Date: July, 24 , 2013

Ashis Nandy, a reputable Indian sociologist, likes the game so well that he declares Indians were the real inventors of cricket. It is an Indian game, he says, accidentally discovered by the British. This magnificent conceit appears in Nandy’s The Tao of Cricket (1989), in which he argues that slow-burning drama and endless digressions reveal an intrinsic relationship between cricket and ancient Hindu culture. Cricket has (now) joined the recently formed and rapidly expanding Sports-Industrial complex. This is a world of commerce, and nothing defines the change more clearly than the Indian Premier League (IPL), in which nine cricket teams owned by rich businessmen play matches of twenty overs a side (Twenty20), a form of the game unquestionably invented in England, in 2003. Corruption is, of course, a natural accompaniment of such wealth and power. Stir it in, and what James Astill (The Great Tamasha:Cricket, corruption and the turbulent rise of modern India; 290pp; Wisden Sports Writing. £18.99) and Ed Hawkins (Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy: A journey into the heart of cricket’s underworld; 232pp; Bloomsbury. £16.99) are describing is a whole new ball game. A Times Literary Supplement Review.

Author(s): Stephen Fay | Posted on: Aug 10, 2013 | Views(920)

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