By Ramachandra Guha
C. ok. Nayudu and Sachin Tendulkar evidently determine during this eye-catching heritage of cricket in India, yet so too—in arresting and unforeseen ways—do Mahatma Gandhi and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The Indian careers of these nice English cricketers Lord Harris and D. R. Jardine supply a window into the operations of Empire, whereas the intense lifetime of India's first nice gradual bowler, Palwankar Baloo, introduces the still-unfinished fight opposed to caste discrimination. Later chapters discover the contest among Hindu and Muslim cricketers in colonial India and the extreme passions now provoked while India performs Pakistan. a tremendous, pioneering paintings, this is often additionally a beautifully-written meditation at the ramifications of game in society at huge, and on how game can impression either social and political history.
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Additional info for A Corner Of A Foreign Field: The Indian History Of A British Sport
Notably, the riders did not observe their own rules, straying outside the field in chase of the puck and into the midst of a cricket match. European ladies also drove their carriages on to the cricket field to get a better sight of their men. 14 Two years after this report, Shapoorjee Sorabjee wrote a letter of protest to the Bombay Gymkhana on behalf of the Persian Cricket Club, of which he was the Secretary. The Polo Secretary of the Gymkhana sent back a terse reply, saying that since they came to the Maidan only twice a week, ‘the native cricket community have therefore their full share of the ground’.
By their means he could impose order on the essential randomness of the country he had come to rule over. There was always, in India, the fear of death by war or disease. ‘Two monsoons’, it was said, was all the colonial could reasonably expect to live through. Here sport came to be a consolation, through which the expatriate could recreate memories of life in England. Note that this early announcement of cricket in Bombay uses the phrase ‘our island’. 10 It appears that in the beginning the British had no intention of teaching the natives to play cricket.
Harris and Jardine were Oxford men, as was Abdul Hafeez Kardar, a cricketer who was also an ideologue, and through whose life one can read the coming into being of the nation of Pakistan. Plenty of politicians stalk these pages too. At various times, cricket drew into its fold India’s first Prime Minister, its last Governor-General, and its first two Presidents. Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Indira Gandhi make cameo appearances. Surprising connections are established between cricket and the most venerated of Indian politicians, Mahatma Gandhi, as well as the most feared, Balasaheb Thackeray.
A Corner Of A Foreign Field: The Indian History Of A British Sport by Ramachandra Guha