A new book takes an in-depth look at the role of cricket in colonial and post-colonial Indian life, and the relationship among those who patronise, promote, play and view the sport by analysing every Indian cricket tour since 1886.
In “Eleven Gods and a Billion Indians: The On and Off the Field Story of Cricket in India and Beyond”, Boria Majumdar takes the reader backstage to when India played its first test in 1932, and bringing the story forward to the more contemporary IPL – to provide a complex and nuanced understanding of the evolution and maturity of the game.
“Eleven Gods and a Billion Indians” unravels the story of a nation now considered the financial nerve centre of world cricket, said publishers Simon & Schuster India about the book which will hit stores in June 2018.
“Many will argue that the Virat Kohli-Anil Kumble saga was very different from the Sourav-Chappell rift or Sourav- Buchanan clash. They are both right and wrong. Right because the Kohli-Kumble spat never played out in public in the manner of the previous two flashpoints,” said Majumdar.
“But, then, why am I writing about this most recent captain-coach battle in the same breath as Sourav-Chappell? Did it actually become that bad in the matter of just twelve months? The answer is an overwhelming ‘yes’,” he added.
The book also goes behind the scenes of cases like Monkeygate, the suspension of Lalit Modi, spot fixing, and the phase of judicial intervention.
Besides reportage and analysis, it also carries player reminiscences, personal interviews, photographs and letters never known or discussed so far in Indian sporting discourse.
The book also seeks to answer questions like: Has internal bickering impacted the on-field performance of the Indian cricket team? Did some of our icons fail the country and the sport by trying to conceal important facts during the spot fixing investigation? And does it matter to the ordinary fan who heads the BCCI as long as there is transparency and accountability in the system? Simon & Schuster India said it will be releasing “Eleven Gods and a Billion Indians” globally – first, in the cricket- playing regions of the world, such as the Indian subcontinent, the UK, and Australia, and subsequently, in the US and Canada.