RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Spell-Binding Spells
Spell-Binding Spells - Anindya Dutta - Foreword by VVS Laxman

Published by:
Norton Press

Old No.38, New No.6, McNichols Road, Chetpet, Chennai - 600 031

First published in 2017 by Carlton Books

ISBN 978-1-947988-84-2
Pages: 315

Price: Rs. 355/-

Anindya's website: www.cricketwriter.com

Anindya Dutta's book, Spell-Binding Spells provides a wonderful insight on bowlers and their excellent impact on the game.
The book is a tribute to cricket history's magnificent fifty bowling spells that have made lasting impression on the game and cricket enthusiasts.
The book is divided into eight chapters across time and space, namely, The Game-changing spells that came out of the blue; Dream debut spells; One day in the Sun - the best ODI spells; Amazing spells from forgotten cricketing lands; Four overs to glory - the best T20 spells; Magnificent spells, heartbreaking losses; Best spells from cricketers who never got to play for their country and Remarkable farewell spells.
Amazing spells from forgotten cricketing lands feature John Laing (Canada), Bart King (USA), Scott Huey (Ireland), Clement Gibson (Argentina). The author believes "the world is indeed the poorer for having missed seeing these magnificent bowlers and their fantastic bowling spells that have thus far been consigned to the side lines of history. If a Jack Laing, a Scott Huey or a Clem Gibson had been born and played for an England and Australia, they would perhaps have been better recognized for their abilities. Perhaps this chapter, by recounting some magnificent spells of bowling that have faded in collective memory, at least to some measure, remedies this injustice."
Anindya says the inspiration for writing the book came from noted cricket historian and writer Kersi Meher-Homji. "Kersi read a column I had written in The Roar, the popular Australian sports website on unforgettable bowling spells, and wrote in to suggest that there is a book in it. To him also goes the credit for suggesting the title - Spell-binding spells."
In his introductory chapter, Anindya says Lance Gibbs, Jim Laker, Glenn McGrath, Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, Wasim Akram, Dale Steyn, Curtly Ambrose and many others who feature in this book for their astonishing exploits were giants of the game in our lifetime.
VVS Laxman sums up the spirit of this outstanding publication. In his foreword, he has remarked: "This book is a tribute to bowlers, a breed that has never profited from the benefit of the doubt, a tribe that has gamely plied its trade in a sport whose rules have historically always favoured batsmen. This book is about fast bowlers striking fear in the hearts of batsmen while spitting fire and brimstone and spinners working their intricate webs of deception, and doing all this in single spells of magnificent bowling. Their amazing spells certainly deserve their due."
According to Anindya, Imran Khan's career-best figures of 6 for 14 runs vs India at Sharjah were one of the most devastating spells in One Day Internationals. His figures remain consigned to the inner shelves of the archives as the best ODI spell by a bowler in a losing cause. Imran remains the only bowler to produce an economy rate (1.40) of less than 1.50 while claiming six wickets in a losing cause in an ODI.
The book has numerous proof-reading errors e.g. Ben 'Holliaoke', 'Chigambura', 'Mazakadza' and Farhaan 'Behrdien'. The same should be rectified in the next edition.
All in all, the publication is a welcome addition to the library of any true cricket lover.