By Ramachandra Guha
C. ok. Nayudu and Sachin Tendulkar obviously determine during this alluring historical past 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 offer 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 intense passions now provoked while India performs Pakistan. an incredible, pioneering paintings, this can be 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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Extra 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’.
One memoirist has left a charming account of how cricket came to the ancient Burmese capital of Mandalay. A group of bored officers, posted there in the 1860s, instructed their Tommies to get packing material from the regimental store. This was converted into a matting wicket, while discarded fish-netting was made into a cricket net. However, there was only enough netting to go behind and on the off-side of the wicket. The leg-side was wide open, and 30 yards away lay ‘the historical lake into which King Thebaw and his enterprising little child-wife Soup-i-lat popped all their cousins and aunts who stood in the way of the succession to the throne’.
For the study of sport, in its cultural and historical context, is an underdeveloped field in most countries, my own not excepted. There is an International Journal of Sports History, some of its articles are of a very high quality, but these focus for the most part on the practice of sport, the background of its players and patrons, the evolution of its associations and tournaments, and on how it pays or does not pay for itself. I do not myself support the placing of sports history (or indeed, other emerging fields such as environmental history and women’s history) in a ghetto of its own.
A Corner Of A Foreign Field: The Indian History Of A British Sport by Ramachandra Guha