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Autobiography of an Unknown Cricketer

Autobiography of an Unknown Cricketer
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Item Code: NAJ347
Author: Sujit Mukherjee
Publisher: Orient Longman Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 1996
ISBN: 8175300019
Pages: 180 (14 B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
weight of the book: 365 gms

About the Book

 

Test cricket is all about a few people playing and many people watching. But what about the cricket most of us have played - in back-gardens and by-lanes, in school and in college, for a club or for one's employer - which not many have watched and nobody, at least in India, has written about?

 

This book looks back fondly upon such cricket played at various levels, all of which lead upwards, narrowing inexorably, to the apex. The author may not have reached there - otherwise you would have known of him as a player - but he has enjoyed every run he scored, every wicket taken, every catch held. That enjoyment he has sought to convey on each page here.

 

About the Author

 

Sujit Mukherjee (b. 1930) has played cricket on many grounds and at various levels, read more cricket books and articles than he has written, and occasionally been a Test-match commentator on radio and television. At least once every season he goes to the ground to watch a game being played, just to assure himself that this is what the real thing is like. A former university teacher, he also writes literary criticism and translates from Bangla into English.

 

Pretext

 

This autobiography of an unknown Indian cricketer has been written in the belief that there are countless others like me in India whose aspirations, whether realized or not, have gone into building this game into the enormous institution it has become today. Along with religion, politics and cinema, cricket ranks high among the more successful industries of modern India. If not the masses in any pedantic sense, certainly very large numbers of Indians voluntarily, cheerfully and noisily support this enterprise. In turn, they draw from it the kind of sustenance that enables them to continue to support it.

 

The writing of this book, however, was not occasioned by any desire to propound a thesis. It so happened, some years ago, that somebody reviewing my Playing for India complained that since the author had never played in a Test match, he should not have used such a title for the book. I could not concede the ground for this complaint. Anybody interested enough in Indian cricket to read about it ought to have known that no Mukherjee has ever played cricket for India - nor is likely to in the foreseeable future! So I believe I had un- restricted rights to use such a title for a book that was all about those who have played cricket for India. (N.B. I didn't want to modify this assertion, formulated several years ago, even though the Bengal off spinner Saradindu Mukherjee has played in a one-day game for his country in March 1990.)

 

Partly provoked by that reviewer, partly to exercise a fundamental right, I decided to write a book that was all about my own cricket. No cricket one has watched or read about can ultimately be as memorable as the cricket one has played oneself, no matter at what level. Test players, after all, began the same way all of us did. At some stage they got ahead, developed better or more rapidly, or simply persisted longer and got the right breaks. As with every fat man, inside whom is a thin man struggling to come out, there is a Test player struggling for emergence inside every cricket enthusiast in the world. Playing for one's country is not the only way to indulge in cricket. There are many other levels in any country's cricket, at each of which twenty-two men perform on or around that twenty-two by eight yard stretch of earth with as much earnestness as in a Test match. This book will be about several such levels that I have known at first hand.

 

Why should anyone want to read such a book, especially in India, that is not about Test players and does not provide the latest averages and up-to-date records? Nobody may want to, but the fact remains that many fine books on cricket have not been about Test matches. The finest of them all, Beyond the Boundary by C.L.R. James, is more truly an autobiographical exploration into the making of history and the sustaining of culture. Such an ideal I set for myself when I began, and the sure knowledge of having chosen an unattainable ideal did not discourage me as I hung on to my wicket, At least I have aimed high - without worrying overmuch about a fielder in the deep.

 

Contents

 

 

PRETEXT

ix

1.

EARLY NOONS

1

2.

FATHER AND SONS

6

3.

FOURS INTO SIXES

20

4.

FIRST ROUND BARRIER

35

5.

JACK OF CLUBS

52

6.

PULLEY AND HOOK

67

7.

THE GREENING OF GREEN PARK

82

8.

MILITARY MANOEUVRES

95

9.

HITS AND MISSES

114

10.

FULBRIGHT FIELDER

131

11.

AIRING ONE'S VIEWS

143

 

POST-TEXT OR LAST OVER

158

 

Sample Pages









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