War Minus the Shooting – revisiting the 1996 World Cup through a classic book

War Minus the Shooting – revisiting the 1996 World Cup through a classic book


In the latest episode we revisit War Minus the Shooting, Mike Marqusee’s book on his journey through the subcontinent during the 1996 World Cup.

Talking Points:

  • The difficulty of finding the book
  • Marqusee’s ability to “get” the subcontinent
  • The importance for a writer to immerse themselves in a culture
  • The “relaxed hedonism” of Aravinda de Silva and Arjuna Ranatunga
  • Marqusee’s love for Sri Lanka in the World Cup
  • Kenya beating West Indies in one of the great cricket upsets
  • The Cola wars and how surgically it is tackled in the book
  • The perceptive passages regarding cricket capitalism and Indian commercialism
  • The original cricket writing in the book
  • Marqusee’s ability to understand crowds – whether it was in protests or at cricket  matches
  • A prescient look at Imran Khan and his political career

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Sharda Ugra

Fidel Fernando (@afidelf)

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee)

Mahesh Sethuraman (@cornerd)


War Minus the Cliches – Rob Steen’s review of War Minus the Shooting

Why Cricket? – Mike Marqusee

Mike Marqusee’s website with many of his writings

Madras Machinations – Benjamin Golby on Mike Marqusee’s novel – The Cricket Monthly

The lion’s fairlytale – Andrew Fidel Fernando – The Cricket Monthly

Those little gladiators – Ramachandra Guha – The Outlook

Mike Marqusee – An American Who Figured Out Cricket – Abhishek Mukherjee – cricketcountry.com

England cricket captain in retro mode – Mark Marqusee

‘You Little Beauty’ – 81allout podcast on the 1996 World Cup

Books discussed:

War Minus the Shooting – Mike Marqusee

Anyone But England – Mike Marqusee

Slow Turn – Mike Marqusee

Pundits From Pakistan – Rahul Bhattacharya

Beyond a Boundary – CLR James

Levels of the Game – John McPhee


Lead image from here.

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