By Ramachandra Guha
C. ok. Nayudu and Sachin Tendulkar clearly determine during this attractive historical past of cricket in India, yet so too—in arresting and unforeseen ways—do Mahatma Gandhi and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. The Indian careers of these nice English cricketers Lord Harris and D. R. Jardine offer a window into the operations of Empire, whereas the intense lifetime of India's first nice gradual bowler, Palwankar Baloo, introduces the still-unfinished fight opposed to caste discrimination. Later chapters discover the contest among Hindu and Muslim cricketers in colonial India and the intense passions now provoked whilst India performs Pakistan. a big, pioneering paintings, this is often additionally a beautifully-written meditation at the ramifications of activity in society at huge, and on how game can impact either social and political history.
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Additional resources for A Corner Of A Foreign Field: The Indian History Of A British Sport
THE FIRST INDIANS to play cricket were the Parsis of Bombay. This community of fire-worshippers had fled their native Persia after the coming of Islam, and settled along the coast of western India. They took easily to trade and commerce, professions viewed with disdain by the high-born Hindu. They spoke the language of the land, Gujarati, but clung tenaciously to their faith. 22 The Parsis were a ‘comprador’ class, who allied themselves with the British to great mutual benefit. 23 When Bombay emerged as a centre of power they gravitated towards it.
By the turn of the century the threat from the French had receded. Meanwhile the population of the fort, white as well as brown, had grown steadily. 27 The area was known to the Army as the Parade Ground, to the English civilian (and his lady) as the Esplanade, and to everybody else as the Maidan. From the early 1800s the natives flocked to the Maidan in search of exercise and recreation. In a city sited on a long but narrow sliver of land, it was the only place to which they could go (Indians, especially urban Indians, are not partial to the sea).
12 Shapoorjee Sorabjee’s A Chronicle of Cricket Among Parsees and The Struggle: European Polo versus Native Cricket, printed in 1897, is (as the title suggests) actually two books bound in one. They are the work of a participant observer, a man who played cricket on the Maidan, who wrote petitions to get rid of polo from the Maidan, and who was a political theorist of some originality besides. Shapoorjee begins his account by noting that the Bombay Gymkhana would not allow polo to be played on its premises.
A Corner Of A Foreign Field: The Indian History Of A British Sport by Ramachandra Guha