RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Cricket World Cup The Indian Challenge (Updated edition 2023) by Ashis Ray

Cricket World Cup The Indian Challenge
(Updated edition 2023)
by Ashis Ray

Published by
Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt.Ltd.
Second Floor, LSC Building No.4,
DDA Complex, Pocket C - 6 & 7,
Vasant Kunj, New Delhi 110070

ISBN: 978-93-56406-35-3

Pages: 227

Price: Rs. 599

Ashis Ray's name has been synonymous with World Cup Cricket. Brought out in time for the 2023 tournament, the publication has been painstakingly researched and lovingly compiled by him. What is most remarkable is that so much has been packed into a book of 227 pages, with everything set out with such clarity and attention to detail.

The book, according to Ashis Ray, is a chronicle of the Cricket World Cup from an Indian perspective and not a glorification of Indian cricket. It is an attempt at a dispassionate appraisal of the rise, fall and revival of Indian cricket in the one-day realm. It is a saga one cannot ignore, for to it has inextricably been linked the financial fortunes of world cricket since 1983.

Ashis says it is a volume not merely for Indians, but for anyone interested in cricket. The book reviews all tournaments from 1975 to 2019. Each of India's matches, since the inaugural World Cup 49 years ago, is recorded as well as every semifinal and final regardless of whether India featured in them or not.

Since the advent and ascent of Twenty20 and the immediate success of the World T20 Championship in 2007, doubts had arisen about the future of the 50 overs' game, according to Ashis Ray. But India being the financial hub of cricket in the 21st century, their triumph in the 2011 World Cup rekindled the faltering format, just as much as their 1983 triumph had induced the entry of bigger money in ODI cricket.

Among the world's longest-serving cricket broadcasters, Ashis Ray believes the 2019 Cricket World Cup evolved as the most watched edition ever. Live coverage of it reached a cumulative global audience of 1.6 billion in 200 territories - a 38 per cent increase over the 2015 competition. This dispelled the cynical view in some circles that the 50-over game had reached its expiry date: 41 per cent of the audience were women. The final attracted a unique audience of 15.4 million viewers on British channels. The most watched match of the tournament, unsurprisingly, was the India versus Pakistan fixture - 273 million globally.

Sunil Gavaskar says 'the way Ashis finds the right word to describe a situation is amazing'. The late Trevor Bailey, England all-rounder and BBC expert commentator, commented: "His commentaries are in precise classical English".

Superbly illustrated with outstanding action shots, enhancing the overall effect, the book has highlighted some of the most magical moments from past Cricket World Cups.