Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A plug for Pundits

After reams of dull match report-style writing and scorecard collations, the cricket book we’ve been waiting for is finally here and I’m feeling so grateful that I had to immediately write a recommendation post. Rahul Bhattacharya’s delightful Pundits From Pakistan has to be savoured and savoured again, even if you’re not particularly interested in the sport; this is the kind of thoughtful, observant, passionate writing that reinforces that old aphorism ‘What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?’ It’s already one of the best books of the year as far as I’m concerned.

Unfortunately, much as I’d like to, I can’t quote any passages from it right now since I don’t have it with me (am writing this from the Financial Times office in Lausanne during my work time!). Was reading the book during the Zurich-Lausanne train ride a few hours ago (the only spare time I’ve had on my trip so far) and was blown away. If people like Harsha Bhogle, Sharda Ugra and Rahul's colleagues at Wisden Asia get onto the bandwagon, the future of Indian cricket writing is very bright.

Will review it at length once I’m back. Meanwhile, here’s a review by a friend, and an excerpt from the book.


  1. They hacked the online version of the review mercilessly - chopped off about 250 words. Believe me, it's a really excellent book, much better than I made it out to be.

    One minor error of detail which I
    didn't carp about: Keith Miller wasn't an "air-bomber" during WWII; he flew mosquitos and tempests which would qualify as ground-attack fighter-bombers but mainly Miller flew a) the mosquitos on night-fighter escort duty for lancasters bombing Germany and b) Tempests on ground-attacks backing up the allied thrust through France post D-Day.

    But he did have several Messerschmidts up his arse.
    (DD again)

  2. Wow, FT office in Laussane! That's something. You lucky guy!

  3. The complete review: