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South Asia

Cricket in the USA: watching and being watched

In the strangest and most distressing cricket story of the summer, it appears that New York police have compiled lists of the city’s cricket grounds, along with cafes and restaurants where people gather to watch international cricket on TV, in order to facilitate surveillance of the Muslim population. Some years back I was passing through… Read more

The “symbolical” cricketer: Sachin Tendulkar

This tribute to Tendulkar has just been published in SACHIN : Genius Unplugged, edited by Suresh Menon. “Cricket is first and foremost a dramatic spectacle,” wrote CLR James in Beyond a Boundary. “It is so organised that at all times it is compelled to reproduce the central action which characterises all good drama from the… Read more

“Activist for the epic game”

The Mercury, Durban, South Africa Monday February 28 2011 With the 10th World Cup now under way, 50-over cricket and the event itself are on trial, says one of the game’s most provocative, passionate and analytical followers, Mike Marqusee. Patrick Compton spoke to him. THE famous dictum of historian CLR James: “What do they know… Read more

World Cup test of status

Outlook (India), 21 February The 10th cricket World Cup opens with the format, and the event itself, on trial. That’s curious, for through most of its history, the World Cup has been an extraordinary success story. It came about more by accident than design (to plug a gap left in the English season by the… Read more

Disgrace: Pakistan cricket and its discontents

Outlook (India), 6 September On top of floods, war, bombs, a corrupt and incompetent government with a much feared military in the wings, the long-suffering people of Pakistan have now been betrayed, once again, by their cricketers. Most will not be shocked or will profess not to be shocked: over the last 15 years there… Read more

League of scandals

Frontline (India) 8 May 2010 An abbreviated version of this article has been published on the Guardian’s Comment is free website. In the flush of its success, the IPL was held up as the face of the new, thrusting, ambitious India and its swelling status. “It is a global representation of India,” Lalit Modi argued,… Read more

Cricket, commerce and the future

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD The Hindu, 14 March Also published in the Guardian’s Comment is free website, with readers’ responses. The third annual instalment of the Indian Premier League is being launched with even greater triumphalist trumpeting than the first two. The show is reeling in big sums and attracting worldwide attention. Lalit Modi is easily… Read more

Avatars in India

The Guardian, Comment is free 12 January 2010 Visiting friends in Delhi, I found the local media celebrating India’s performance at Copenhagen, from which it had emerged unburdened by the slightest commitment to reducing carbon emissions. This “climate nationalism” seemed particularly grotesque given that north India’s river systems are threatened by receding Himalayan glaciers and… Read more

Life-changing happenstance: discovering India

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD The Hindu, 25 January 2009 will be marked by the usual crop of anniversaries. Twenty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, 200 hundred years since the death of Tom Paine, forty years since Woodstock, and on a micro-scale, thirty years since my first visit to India. A life-changing event for… Read more

Afghanistan: Crimes of the New Century

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD The Hindu, 28 December There is one sad, near certainty about 2009: the war in Afghanistan will grow bloodier, more brutal and more dangerous to the region as a whole. Barack Obama has coupled his pledge to withdraw US troops from Iraq (a pledge already heavily qualified) with an insistence on escalating… Read more