The subcontinent beyond the cliches: revisiting a landmark cricket book

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The subcontinent beyond the cliches: revisiting a landmark cricket book

In this episode, we revisit Mike Coward’s book about Australian tours to the subcontinent through the 1980s: Cricket Beyond the Bazaar.

Joining us to dissect the book – and its importance for Australian cricket literature – are two contemporary journalists – Russell Jackson and Daniel Brettig. They tell us about the effect the book had on them and how it continues to be a guiding beacon for Australians reporting on the subcontinent.

Talking Points:

  • The history of India-Australia relations and the blossoming of cricketing ties in the 1980s
  • Mike Coward’s love for India – and how he intuitively grasped how big the game would become in the subcontinent
  • A delightful mess of a book – journalism, travelogue, observations, rumination, history, culture.. it has it all
  • The cult status that Allan Border, Dean Jones, David Boon and so many others of that generation enjoy among Indians of a certain generation
  • The 1986 tied Test and the start of the Australian renaissance
  • How writers like Mike Coward helped several Australians grasp the complexities of the subcontinent
  • Australia’s triumphant World Cup in 1987 – and the historic win in Lahore
  • Australia’s controversial tour to Pakistan in 1988 – and the effect it had for the next decade
  • How Mike Coward stayed true to his profession despite having such unbridled access to the players and team management
  • The relevance of the book today and how young Australian readers can benefit from it


Daniel Brettig (@danbrettig)

Russell Jackson (@rustyjacko)

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee)


Embracing the East: Suresh Menon on Cricket Beyond the Bazaar – ESPNcricinfo

When a tie was a victory for Border’s battlers – Michael Sexton on his book about the tied Test in Madras – 81allout podcast

The Final Frontier: Mike Coward – The Greatest Season That Was podcast

Collection of Mike Coward’s articles for ESPNcricinfo

‘It long irked me that sports writing, in this country, has been devalued’ – Mike Coward’s speech at the ASC Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2015

Calypso Cricket – The inside story of the 1991 West Indies tour – Roland Fishman –

Clueless Australia need a cultural shift – Daniel Brettig – ESPNcricinfo

Daniel Brettig: Books on

Russell Jackson – articles on ABC Sport


Lead image from here.

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