Author: Eminent Contributors
Publisher: Roli Books
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8174363203
From 1952, behind the scenes, beyond the headlines, with the best of the crossborder cricket writers, this book is the first ringside account of the 2004 India - Pakistan series. Relive the drama, the euphoria, the hits and misses of Indo-Pak cricket from 1952 right up till 2004 through the eyes of some of the best writers across the borders.
Our flight left Islamabad 30 minutes late. No one cared. We had been on IC 012 for an hour and it had been an hour of happy chaos. The atmosphere on this special, unscheduled Indian Airlines flight that was going to ferry the victorious Indian team and all us reporters back to Delhi was carnival.
Everyone knew everyone else and everyone was happy and ready to party (and this had nothing to do with the Heineken cans being liberally distributed by an equally happy crew). Even the background music wasn’t mournful for once-the instrumental soundtrack was of Kishore Kumar numbers like Bhali Bhali si ek surat, Nadiya se dariya, Ye Shaam mastani and the like.
Sourav opened a bottle of champagne, the captain of the flight opened another and we were off. It had been nearly a month-and –a –half in Pakistan and we were going home on a giddy high after India won its first-ever Test series across the border. It was also the first series win on foreign soil in over 10 years, the last being in Sri Lanka in 1993-94. Sourav had become India’s most successful captain too and he rightly attributed his win to the players on his team. There is no doubt that this generation of Indian players is in a league of its own, as compared to previous ones. They have a zip and a fight in them hasn’t been seen collectively in the past in India Test squads. This is not a team that depends on a couple of chosen individuals to take them home and that makes a huge difference. Someone, somewhere down the line has to perform but that someone could be anyone. And to a man, they all believe that if one person doesn’t perform, another will. They have an aggressive attitude and a spirit that defies conventional notions of the timorous Indian player who lacks a killer instinct.
What followed was a wild dance around the pitch by the winning side. A standing ovation followed them off the field. With true sporting spirit, the Pakistanis joined in too-but also burst into their national anthem, and strains of Hum honge kamyaab ek din. It was a touching attempt to keep their spirits up, and it pulled at the heartstrings, more so when the camera focused on Inzamam sitting in the balcony. The stoic expression on his face said it all. But then, all’s fair in love and cricket. Then it was homeward bound-to a resounding heroes welcome.
OMAR KUREISHI: Veteran commentator who has shared the box with CK Nayadu and the legendary Lala Amarnath, Pakistan's best-loved cricket columnist now writes for Dawn. He takes us on a unique walk down memory lane-and cricket as it is played now, by two cricket-loving nations.
RAJDEEP SARDESAI: TV viewers accumstomed to seeing him on The Big Fight should know that the Political Editor of New Delhi Television (NDTV) is passionate about cricket, having captained his university team in Mumbai and played first-class cricket at Oxford. Not surprisingly for the son of ace cricketer of yesteryears, Dilip Sardesai.
AYAZ MEMON: National Sports Editor of The Times of India, Mumbai, he has followed Indo-Pak cricket from 1982 when he walked across the Wagah Border, in 25 years of writing about the game, he has covered fie World Cups.
MADHU TREHAN: As one of the pioneers of India Today, Newstrack and Aaj Tak, she continues to explore new fields such as Gadaffi Stadium in Lahore for the historic 2004 series.
NINA MARTYRIS: Special Correspondent with The Times of India, Mumbai, this assignment took her away from her city beat into Karachi, Rawalpindi and Peshawar, and straight into the hearts of the Pakistani people and their great love, cricket.
KADAMBARI MURALI: Special Correspondent with The Hindustan Times, New Delhi, she flew to Pakistan to bring back a ball by ball account of the entire series, alive with the sort of local colour and breathtaking detail that takes you right into the stands.
RAJESH KUMAR: His statistics appear in the cricketing Bible, The Wisden Cricketer's Almanac, on NDTV, and newspapers and websites around the world. His figures make this book invaluable for any collector.
SUNIL WARRIER: is Sports in Charge, Junior Assistant Editor, The Times of India, Mumbai.
PRADEEP VIJAYKAR: is Assistant Editor, The Times of India, Mumbai.
NITIN NAIK: is Copy Editor cum Correspondent, The Times of India, Mumbai.
ANANT GAUNDALKAR: is Statistician, The Times of India, Mumbai: The team that profiled the cricketing greats, and the highlights of Indo-Pak cricket.
PRADEEP MANDHANI: Spanning more than 1000 one-day internationals and 120 Test matches, his camera has captured the highs and lows of Indian cricket around the globe. His pictures give you a ringside view of the just-concluded series.