Daily Star Books discusses cricket with Ramachandra Guha
In accompaniment with a book review of Indian historian Ramachandra Guha's latest book The Commonwealth of Cricket (HarperCollins India, 2020) published on April 29, Star Books organised a live virtual discussion with the author yesterday on The Daily Star's Facebook and YouTube channels. Moderated by Kazi Akib Bin Asad, editor of SHOUT magazine, the webinar engaged Guha in conversation with Asrar Chowdhury, professor of economics, cricket enthusiast, and a columnist of The Daily Star.
"Cricket has taught me the value of discipline, teamwork, taking failure in your stride", Guha shared, kick starting a nostalgic discussion on the novelty of listening to cricket on the radio in the 1950s, before television and eventually online streaming made the sports more widely accessible.
Insider anecdotes including the 1971 series, the debut of a 21-year-old Sunil Gavaskar, Guha's favourite moments of Bangladeshi cricket, and the "romance and enjoyment" of the draw which distinguishes Test cricket from one-day matches came up during the conversation, as did the ethics of continuing the IPL as India suffers through its worst yet wave of the coronavirus epidemic.
"When we are going through such enormous suffering [...] it is indefensible that the IPL is continuing now and the players are silent except for Ashwin (Ravichandran) and Harbhajan (Singh)."
When asked about the future of international cricket, Guha spoke of the need for international club tournaments, South Asian tournaments, and a tamping down of the monopoly of the Indian cricket team.
The Commonwealth of Cricket is to be the last book on cricket by Guha, who has also written extensively on Gandhi and Indian history. The virtual conversation can be watched on the Daily Star Books Facebook page and The Daily Star's YouTube channel.