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When Ramachandra Guha began following the game in the early 1960s, India was utterly marginal to the world of cricket: the country still hadn't won a Test match overseas; by the time he joined the Board of Control for Cricket in India, fifty years later, India had become world cricket's sole superpower.
The Commonwealth of Cricket is a first-person account of this astonishing transformation. The book traces the entire arc of cricket in India, across all levels at which the game the game is played: school, college, club, state, country. It presents vivid portraits of local heroes, provincial icons, and international starts.
Cast as a work of literature, The Commonwealth of Cricket is keenly informed by the author's scholarly training, the stories and sketches narrated against a wider canvas of social and historical change. The book blends memoir, anecdote, reportage and political critique, providing a rich, insightful and rivetingly readable account of this greatest of games as played in the country that has most energetically made this sport its own.
Ramachandra Guha was born and raised in the Himalayan foothills. He studied in Delhi and Kolkata, and has lived for many years in Bengaluru. His many books include a pioneering environmental history, The Unquiet Woods, a landmark history of the Republic, India after Gandhi, and an authoritative two-volume biography of Mahatma Gandhi, each of which was chosen by the New York Times as a Notable Book of the Year. Having previously taught at Yale, Stanford and the Indian Institute of Science, he is currently Distinguished University Professor at Krea University.
Guha has been a professional historian for some three decades now. He has been a cricket fanatic for three decades longer still. He says he writes on history for a living; and on cricket to live. His awards include the Leopold-Hidy Prize of the American Society for Environmental History, the Cricket Society Book of the Year Award (for A Corner of a Foreign Field), the R.K. Narayan Prize and the Fukuoka Prize. He is the recipient of an honorary doctorate in the humanities from Yale University.