This website began as a blog where Mahesh Sethuraman (@cornerd) and I exchanged leisurely thoughts on Test cricket. When I suggested the name 81allout, Mahesh had said: “Can’t get a more symbolic name for a suicidal mission. Love it.”
Soon we branched out into podcasting, inviting others to exchange their cricketing stories and perspectives. We got fans to talk about their experiences of watching World Cups, invited journalists and writers to talk about their craft, reviewed great Tests from the past, reminisced about Sunil Gavaskar’s moustache, talked in length about gully cricket, explored themes beyond the boundary – all while sticking to our initial goal: providing a perspective that you don’t find in the mainstream.
From the outset, the plan for the podcast was to recreate the mood outside a tea-shop. We felt serious cricket outlets often take themselves too seriously while the irreverent observers don’t take cricket seriously enough. We wanted to find a middle ground, and are thankful for your continued feedback.
Over the next few months, the podcast will complete 100 episodes. The listenership is on an upward curve and we are grateful that you have taken out so much time to listen to our discussions. We would love to provide more varied content, and also be in a position to create and produce audio features. We hope to carry more quality writing on the website, and eventually turn into a venue for memorable cricket writing. The game is awash with stories. We would love to explore them in depth.
Over the last two-and-a-half years, this endeavour has run purely on passion. Now we are ready to take an upward step. We thought of approaching advertisers. We contemplated bringing on a sponsor. We considered various other options.
But none of those ideas inspired as much confidence as you.
You understand how much the game means to us. We hope you can support us each month to help us reach the next level.
Thank you in advance. And we look forward to you joining us in this journey.
(A bit about me: I have close to 18 years of experience as a cricket writer and editor. I was an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo from 2003 to 2008. In 2013, I was part of the team that launched ESPN’s digital magazine – The Cricket Monthly. Over the years, I have contributed articles to Wisden, ESPNcricinfo, The Nightwatchman, Guardian, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Hindu, Indian Express, India Today, Mid-Day, Mumbai Mirror, The Daily Telegraph, News18, and Yahoo India. You can find a collection of my cricket writing here and here. You can visit my website here.)
Blue Whale of a legbreak – 81allout archive
Joy and Curse of YouTube – 81allout archive
Ghostwriting for Imran, beach-cricket with Viv, working for Pataudi – 81allout podcast with Mudar Patherya
‘Every generation needs its writers to tell its stories’ – 81allout podcast with Sharda Ugra
A golden age for watching Test cricket in Sri Lanka – 81allout podcast with Fidel Fernando
Sri Lanka’s victory against Pakistan at Galle – YouTube highlights