Updated: Aug 20, 2021
From being the first team to be dismissed twice in a single day to being the first team to win a world cup in all three formats, Indian cricket has indeed come a long way.
We have witnessed all the ups and downs—the phase where fans would bury their faces in their hands out of shame, and the phase when the nation was bursting with pride. There have been numerous legends that helped shape the sport, and brought it where it stands today.
And along this turbulent journey, cricket has evolved and changed much more than we like to admit. With the introduction of shorter formats and the fading away of long formats, there have been strange techniques and striking approaches observed, some of which have even left the cricket connoisseurs dumbfounded.
Several books have been written to acknowledge and appreciate the heights Indian cricket has achieved. And while some of them were celebrated works, several sensational pieces found themselves in the hidden corners of the library.
To celebrate the sport’s achievements, we have curated a list of books you must read if you consider yourself a cricket enthusiast!
1) The Test Of My Life
“There were times when chemo would eat my body, but I told myself that I have the strength and courage to win and come out stronger.”
The story of the man who smashed 6 sixes in 6 balls, Yuvraj Singh. His development as a player is very well known to the world, but in his book the renowned cricketer shares his personal battles.
Be it delivering his best performance during the 2011 world cup when he was oblivion to the tumour brewing in his lungs or spending traumatic days in Indianapolis while undergoing chemotherapy, the man shares all his experiences in this book.
Whether you are a cricket fan or not, this fascinating book isn't something to miss. It is one of those works that inspire you and take you on an emotional rollercoaster as they move ahead, and leave you truly heartbroken by the end.
2) Cricket 2.0: Inside the T-20 Revolution
“We wanted to improve and elevate the understanding of T20 cricket because the format is so popular, but widely misunderstood.”
Cricket analyst Freddie Wilde and journalist Tim Wigmore collaborate to write a book that describes how the introduction of the short format has made a major impact on cricket, both on and off the field.
It reveals the inspiring stories of the players who have been dominating the format since years. Not only so, the writers also delve into the possibility of 100-ball cricket, which is an attempt by the England and Wales Cricket board to outdo the eminent IPL, more out of envy than anything else.
If the future of T-20 cricket interests you, this thoroughly researched book is the one for you!
3) Not Out! The Incredible Story of the Indian Premier League
“Everyone has the fire, but the champions know when to ignite the spark.”
The Indian Premier League is undoubtedly one of the biggest T-20 leagues in the world, attracting fans from all over the world. The influence of this league spans to such an extent that it had contributed an estimated sum of Rs. 1,150 crores to the Indian economy in 2015!
Albeit it isn’t a book filled with inside anecdotes or gossip, it is one book that brings the league to a clear perspective.
Living in the T-20 era with such leagues emerging as the face of cricket, a true cricket fanatic simply cannot miss this one!
4) Eleven Gods And A Billion Indians
"In India, Cricket is religion and the players, they are Gods.’
This wonderful book by Boria Majumdar is a balanced concoction of anecdotes, statistics and the players’ lives off the field.
It discloses many episodes that only the insiders are privy to, making it a rare piece. The book also covers a vast range of forgotten stories—from the sepoys being the country’s main players during the 1950s to Virat Kohli handing a sacred thread to the legend Sachin Tendulkar as a mark of utmost respect.
A remarkable novel that celebrates Indian cricket in the truest sense and narrates Indian cricket history with a fresh lens, this one definitely qualifies as one of the greatest in cricket literature.
5) The Forgotten Sons: Untold Stories of Indian Cricket
“Real courage is doing the right thing when nobody's looking, and doing the unpopular thing because it's what you believe.”
Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, M.S. Dhoni, Anil Kumble–scores and scores of players have represented our country through various years. But against these names lies a collection of players whose names went unheard, and their contributions unnoticed.
Despite having a plethora of talented players in the country since the beginning, most of them gained fame only after the arrival of televisions, and perhaps not even after that.
The Forgotten Sons, as the name suggests, is a book that pays tribute to the cricket team that has almost been wiped out from our memories.
Be it a spinner who bowled 131 consecutive dot balls in 1964, or an Indian wicketkeeper who nerve to sledge Sir Don Bradman himself, this book never ceases to surprise you with tales you never saw coming.
Unknown, unsung, but not unworthy, this is an unmissable book honouring nearly every cricketer who made our nation swell with pride.
This was the list of the top 5 books we recommend you to explore! Was there any which we too should explore? Comment below to let us know!