Beyond the Blues - Book Review
What reminds me of him? His snail paced batting? His exploits at Australia and Pakistan? Or the fickle minded Indian cricket fan who forgot the importance of his role in the team? I remember all these. I started to follow him on twitter. I started to like his opinions on various things. He came across as one of those Cricket writers who genuinely cared about the Indian cricket team and its performance. And I wanted to read his books. He has written two.
I started with the first – Beyond the Blues. It was a genuine account on a Ranji season for Delhi. Many cricket fanatics think they know the game inside out. They see only one side – the brighter side. They see international players. They see superstars. They see money – millions and billions. The pass judgement on how so and so player isn’t fit enough to play at this level. I’m one of those – the armchair critic.
We forget what a player has to go through to represent India. This book throws light on the forgotten Ranji trophy – many see only when the knockout pops or when his favourite player turns up out of the blue. It talks about the pain a cricketer has to go through, the agony of being not considered even after being the best, the fame and recognition that comes with performance, the politics at each state association, the substandard umpiring, some logic defying episodes, undelivered gifts, the IPL when it was born, and the beautiful game called cricket.
Imagine what it takes to be the best in a class of 40? Now think how hard it is for a cricketer to get recognition in a cricket mad country like India where you are as good as your last performance. You start saluting every single cricketer to play for the Nation. The book makes me to go for a Ranji game. I wish to sit in an empty stadium and see a local team sweat it out. At times you wonder why he has to crib so much. But then we all crib, right?
If you haven’t read, this is the best time to read. The Ranji season is near and you could associate every word in the book with the action on the field. You will start seeing beyond the blues, beyond the blue India jersey, beyond fame and stardom, beyond superstars, beyond everything – the truth.