Beyond the bookshelves

  • From veteran coaches to seasoned experts, five writers to enhance your cricket-watching experience
  • The titles range from Paddy Upton’s ‘The Barefoot Coach’ to Nikhil Naz’s ‘Miracle Men’

THE BAREFOOT COACH BY PADDY UPTON (Westland, 799)

If there’s one man who has witnessed the ups and downs of Indian cricket from close quarters over the last decade, it is Paddy Upton. From working with the South African team as a fitness trainer to becoming a coach in professional sport, he has covered varied ground. With his rich experience in all formats of the game, especially in Twenty20s, he offers tips, tricks and keys to success, bolstered by candid anecdotes that come from years of working closely with international stars.

MIRACLE MEN: THE GREATEST UNDERDOG STORY IN CRICKET BY NIKHIL NAZ (Hachette India, 399)

The Indian cricket team had a dream run in 1983. Led by Kapil Dev, the men in white not only reached the final of the World Cup, but also, against all odds, won the tournament. But in spite of all the euphoria that followed, the path to the top was paved with challenges. In this book, which will be released on 10 June, a journalist goes back to that era, based on first-hand interviews with champions like Sunil Gavaskar, to present a picture of the locker-room drama and on-field excitement.

CRICKET WORLD CUP: THE INDIAN CHALLENGE BY ASHIS RAY (Bloomsbury, 499)

In this revised and updated edition of a much-admired history of previous World Cups, Ray provides insights into the prospects of the Indian team in the 2019 tournament. His combination of commentary and reportage brings each of the last 11 World Cups alive on the page. From analysing the factors that worked in favour of the winning team in 1983 to those that brought in the spectacular win for the team under M.S. Dhoni in 2011, this book is a cricket-lover’s delight and an essential companion for the season.

DEMOCRACY’S XI: THE GREAT INDIAN CRICKET STORY BY RAJDEEP SARDESAI (Juggernaut, 499)

Bollywood and cricket may be the two great passions that unite Indians, but it is the latter that offers a truly democratic space, where only merit wins the day. Based on this argument, journalist Rajdeep Sardesai weaves a history of the game in independent India through the lives of 11 remarkable players. From “Tiger" Pataudi to Virat Kohli, his chosen cast will spark your interest. Sardesai keeps you hooked with his skilful storytelling and sharp historical insights.

NO BALL: THE MURKY WORLD OF MATCH FIXING BY CHANDRAMOHAN PUPPALA (Pan Macmillan India, 399)

When the shadow of match-fixing fell on South African cricketer Hansie Cronje in 2000, it ended his career. Soon, cricketers from India, Kenya, England, West Indies and Pakistan were reeling under scrutiny. Life bans were handed out and the spirit of the game was tainted forever. In this investigative book, based on transcripts of police interviews and classified information, journalist Chandramohan Puppala reveals the extent to which the underworld exerted control over decisions made on the field.

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