Book review: Ashis Ray’s ‘Cricket World Cup: The Indian Challenge’

Peppered with insights into Kapil Dev and co's win over the WI team in 1983 and Tendulkar's last WC-winning sojourn in 2011, the book is a well-written nostalgia-inducer.

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Celebrated cricket broadcaster Ashis Ray has come out with a new book titled Cricket World Cup: The Indian Challenge, where he has penned down the journey of Indian cricket at the World Cups since the inaugural edition in 1975.

The book traces India’s World Cup journey ever since West Indies won the 60-over World Cup held in England in 1975. It reviews all tournaments from 1975 to 2015 and also previews the ongoing 2019 World Cup in England and Wales. All matches of India, since the inaugural World Cup 44 years ago, are recorded as well as every semi-final and final regardless of whether India featured in them or not.

World Cup.Indian Link

It also details the story of India’s turning point in ODI cricket in Guyana when Kapil Dev’s team defeated the previously unassailable West Indies in their own backyard in March 1983. Particularly readable is the story of how MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh planned India’s road to ultimate glory in the 2011 World Cup at home. It was, after all, the best gift Tendulkar could have asked for as he played in the showpiece event one last time.

Also featured are some of India’s cricket controversies including Greg Chappell’s controversial tenure as Indian coach and the corruption scandal which shook the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The book ends with an analysis of India’s chances at the 2019 edition of the showpiece event. Arguably the world’s senior-most active cricket broadcaster, Ray made his debut as a Test match commentator on All India Radio in 1975 at the age of 24. He holds the distinction of being the world’s youngest Test match commentator.

World Cup1.Indian Link
Ashis Ray

He was the only Asian ball-by-ball commentator on BBC’s coverage of the 1983 edition of the World Cup which India won by defeating then cricket giants West Indies at Lords.

IANS