RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Tendulkar in Wisden
Tendulkar in Wisden - An Anthology Edited by Anjali Doshi With a foreword by Ricky Ponting

Published by John Wisden & Co.
An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.
50, Bedford Square, London WCIB 3DP

Published in India by Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt. Ltd.,
Web: www.bloomsbury.com, www.wisdenrecords.com, www.wisden.com

Anurima Roy, Senior Manager – Marketing & Publicity Email anurima.roy@bloomsbury.com

Pages 248
Price Rs.599/-
ISBN 9781472927354

Cricket is a game that generates endless arguments. .My friend, Kersi Meher-Homji, who is a well respected cricket author, journalist, statistician and biographer, has brought out his latest cricket book Cricket Conflicts and Controversies - a truly magnificent effort.

Well-organised, it is a pleasure and honour for me to review Kersi's 14th book.

In the introduction, Kersi Meher-Homji says the purpose of this book is to accurately record cricket's conflicts and controversies, putting them in historic perspective and charting the long term effect these unsavoury events had on the game's evolution.

In his foreword, former Australian Cricket Captain, Greg Chappell elaborates that cricket has had admirable characters and champions and as well as, the odd villain. "I assume that one of the reasons that Kersi asked me to write this foreword is that directly, or indirectly, I have been pretty close to a number of the controversies that he has included in this very readable book."

As regards Sourav Ganguly, Chappell clarified: "Much has been made of my differences with Sourav Ganguly in my time as coach of the Indian team; but not much of it reaches the core of the matter. Once again, emotion has clouded the real story, which was actually quite simple. Sourav was out of form and it was affecting the balance of the team. I tried to reason with Sourav that, if he wanted to save his career, he should consider standing down as captain to focus instead on resurrecting his batting skills. By choosing to ignore that advice, an already difficult situation was exacerbated and the Indian selectors chose to drop him."

Kersi exposes the rock star underbelly of cricket, from the 'Bodyline' series of 1932-33 to the 'Bollyline' series of 2007-08 and beyond, through the chucking and ball-tampering accusations and match throwing, the on-field kicking, bribery and drug taking allegations, the dark and murky side of this 'genteel' game of cricket has now been revealed.

Kersi believes that the underarm incident on the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 1 February 1981 created as many international waves as the Bodyline series of 1932-33 and the rebel tours to South Africa in the 1980s, with politicians of two countries joining the journalists and former Test cricketers making strong comments.

In his 60 years of cricket watching, Kersi has observed and admired many fast bowlers but Dennis Lillee remains his favourite. "Lillee is featured in this book not so much for his elegantly fatal speed but for his maverick nature, defying authority too often and being involved in numerous controversies. Three of them are featured in this chapter".

The book is well worth reading and will provide much to think and talk about. The quality of the paper and the generous spacing all enhance the fascinating material. The book is handsomely produced and economically priced.