22 Yards- the idea behind the Book!

Posted: August 19, 2008 in Uncategorized

the 22 YARDS cover
the 22 YARDS cover

 

India’s 1983 World Cup victory at Lords will be remembered as a watershed event in India’s cricketing history.  Never has one solitary development altered a nation’s approach towards the particular sport and resultant way of life of its people, as much as this WC victory did.

For starters, it inspired a whole generation of 6, 8, 10 year olds to take to cricket as a virtual vocation. They would secretly nurse a desire to step into the shoes of the cricketing greats of the time. The advent of TV sets in Indian homes around the same time also helped in increasing the common man’s involvement with the game. Scenes of a whole building converging into the flat that owned a TV set on match days were not uncommon in the early and mid-eighties. I too was afflicted by this craze. A lot of my study time would then be spent following cricket matches. My Mom, in fact, still blames cricket for the irreversible deterioration it wreaked upon my grades.

Cricket, thus, went on to be soon accorded the status of a religion in our country. It began to evoke a national fervor and passion, unprecedented of any sport in the country. On the flip side, this brought in unthinkable sums of money into the sport. And with that, the sports’ commercialization, which was to soon turn crass, became inevitable.

Just one decade later, the generation-next cricket lover’s marriage with the game seemed to have gone sour. The honeymoon was most definitely over.

The nineties, in fact, saw cricket being rocked by a variety of scandals all erupting one after the other. The Pakistani pace duo of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younus had to grapple with allegations of ball-tampering. Later, a can of worms was let loose when Manoj Prakbhakar leveled some damning allegations against a former teammate. Hansie Cronje, once known for his immaculate credentials, became the first player to be booked on charges of match-fixing. The use of steroids in cricket came to the fore.

These controversies sullied the game. They led to a sense of disillusionment in many sections. The religion lost a chunk of its followers. Cricket suffered. As a die-hard cricket fan, I could sense my own interest in the game dwindling. The more cynical of my friends would even suspect they were watching ‘staged’ performances on the field.

Controversies escalated to newer levels with passage of time. They ceased to bow out ever, despite firm initiatives of the ICC.  All this left an indelible mark on the sports’ credentials.

And yet eventually, the sheer charm of the sport was strong enough to tide over them all….

 

Today, cricket, in its newer avatar(Twenty 20) continues to not only survive, but grow, draw in new followers and flourish. In fact the shorter version of the game is bound to extend its appeal to several new countries that had hitherto looked down upon the game for the long hours and days it went up to.

 

22 yards is an experimental work. It deals with some real cricketing and societal issues; yet the issues are only the take off points for tales and characters that are wholly fictitious. At one level, the book seeks to unravel the underbelly of contemporary international cricket. For all its starkness though, it is my tribute to the sport, whose invincible mettle and all pervasive euphoria remain unparalleled in the annals of our country and where spirited gentlemen like the book’s protagonist still outnumber and triumph over the negative forces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments
  1. 22yardstuhin says:

    Maddy (09:07:32) : edit

    Tuhinbhai…..this blog reminded me of an article I had written many years ago on mouthshut. In 2002! Do read it at http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Cricket-26586-1.html as and when you have the time.

    Needless to say, I am looking forward to read 22 yards.

    -Maddy.

  2. 22yardstuhin says:

    Loved the article Maddy.. You share my cricketing sentiments!

  3. Raghav says:

    Hello
    Nice, want to grab the book now, as soon as possible.

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