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Cricket Country

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PRASHANT KIDAMBI is associate professor of colonial urban history at the University of Leicester.... Read More

Product Description

PRASHANT KIDAMBI is associate professor of colonial urban history at the University of Leicester. After completing postgraduate degrees in history from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to pursue a doctorate at the University of Oxford. Kidambi's research explores the interface between British imperialism and the history of modern South Asia. He is the author of The Making of an Indian Metropolis: Colonial Governance and Public Culture in Bombay, 1890-1920 and the lead editor of Bombay before Mumbai: Essays in Honour of Jim Masselos.


On the morning of 6 May 1911, a large crowd gathered at Bombay's Ballard Pier. They were there to bid farewell to a motley group of sixteen Indian men who were about to undertake a historic voyage to London. The persons whom the crowd cheered that sultry Saturday morning were members of the first All-India cricket team.

Conceived by an unlikely coalition of imperial and Indian elites, it took twelve years and three failed attempts before an 'Indian' cricket team made its debut on the playing fields of imperial Britain in the blazing coronation summer of 1911.

This is a capacious tale with an improbable cast of characters set against the backdrop of revolutionary protest and princely intrigue. The captain of the Indian team was nineteen-year-old Bhupinder Singh, the embattled Maharaja of Patiala. The other cricketers were selected on the basis of their religious identity. Most remarkable, for the day, was the presence in the side of two Dalits: the Palwankar brothers, Baloo and Shivram.

Drawing on an unparalleled range of original archival sources, Cricket Country is the untold story of how the idea of India was fashioned on the cricket pitch in the high noon of empire.

Cricket Country is easily the most enjoyable non-fiction book you'll read this yearThis magnificent book recreates the forgotten story of the first All-India cricket team. It is a fascinating tale, and Prashant Kidambi tells it beautifully. Scholars, students, history and sports buffs will find reading Cricket Country an enormously educative, as well as a hugely enjoyable experience. I certainly didPrashant Kidambi takes us back to where it all began with a wonderful narrative of a pioneering team that came to embody a nascent idea of India where the embrace of cultural diversity would become a badge of identity'Cricket Country: The Untold History of the First All-India (Cricket) Team, which toured England in 1911, is a narrative of the game's contr­oversial, conflicting and contra­dic­tory relationship with col­­o­­nia­lism, nationalism, communalism, commercialism and caste/class differences.''Prashant Kidambi's book, Cricket Country, is an important contribution to furthering that realisation, towards reminding us that this strange sport we find so mesmerising was never contained within the confines of cricket fields . . . As you get pulled into the book, there is melodrama, rioting, political manoeuvring and sneering condescension in a tight partnership with nauseating sycophancy, drunkenness, sporting skulduggery and back-stabbing.''Every Indian is an expert in cricket. But few Indians are historians of cricket. With this delightful book Prashant Kidambi joins a select group of cricket historians led by the redoubtable Ramachandra Guha. This heavily researched and stylishly written book is like a blend of Sunil Gavaskar's technical excellence and Gundappa Viswanath's artistry.''Cricket Country, is as much about the country as it is about cricket. It is a book of history that uses cricket as a framing device . . . It tells the story of a nation, its consciousness and awakening through the prism of cricket.''Kidambi's research is deep and extensive. There are wonderful stories of many . . Cricket Country tells that riveting story with passion and authority.''[Prashant Kidambi] offers a brilliant insight into the early efforts of Indian and British elite to stitch together an 'Indian' cricket team.''Kidambi tells an intriguing story exceptionally well.''Prashant Kidambi tells the intriguing story of the first "All-India", and largely forgotten, team to reach British shores . . . [his] achievement is to retrieve from obscurity the backbone of the team.''Cricket Country is a beautifully researched history that fills many gaps in our understanding of that early adventure.'

Product Details

Title: Cricket Country
Author: Prashant Kidambi
SKU: BK0420063
EAN: 9780670092475

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