The history of GENTLEMAN’S GAME
In India, cricket is not just a sport but a religion worshipped by millions. The cricketers aren't mere players they're the hope of a billion Indians who are currently glued to the TV for the festival, i.e. IPL.
But cricket has an excellent history, one that is inspirational, authentic and at times, a guide for professionals.
The latest book, ‘A History of U.P’s First Class Cricketers’ released by a former cricketer and a UP Ranji Trophy player from Lucknow, Ashok Bambi talks about first class 251 players of UP cricket who played between 1950 to 2020. Bambi has been a cricketer for 55 years and has played for 11 years.
The book was launched by Dr Navneet Sehgal at the Ekana Stadium on May 7, 2022, amid the presence of over 100 cricket fans and former cricketers.
What inspired you to write this book?
The passion for the sport and the fact that I've been playing cricket for 55 years now. My history of being in the field for 11 years as a Ranji Trophy player from Uttar Pradesh inspired me to write about its history.
As a former cricketer, how do you see modern cricket?
Modern cricket has changed for good over the years thanks to BCCI. The new and different formats introduced have increased the love for the sport manifold. Albeit the latest addition (Indian Premier League) has made the game of cricket more money-oriented than being played for pleasure.
What part of the book did you have the hardest time writing?
When writing about a sport, one has to list the cons along with the pros. I had a hard time shedding light on nepotism, loopholes and favouritism ingame. Apart from that talking about veteran players like Anil Shukla, Mohd. Shahid who could've lived up to the expectations of the game then was heavy to write about.
How does your book impact/appeal the modern cricket fans?
The book impacts modern cricket fanatics and players in an inspirational way as it talks about the history of first-class cricketers of Uttar Pradesh. It talks about the way cricket has shaped over the years. It addresses cricket in Uttar Pradesh and its outstanding players from then till now.
I think the process of betting should be legalised by law in India like the western countries. This would allow fair gaming and keep the authorities and keep the authorities and players out of controversies.