Reviving War Minus the Shooting – a chat with Osman Samiuddin

81 All Out  > Books >  Reviving War Minus the Shooting – a chat with Osman Samiuddin

In the latest episode of the podcast we talk about how and why we set up 81allout Publishing – and the first book we recently released: Mike Marqusee’s War Minus the Shooting.

ESPNcricinfo’s senior editor Osman Samiuddin tells us what the book has meant to him and why he considers it a classic work.

Buy War Minus the Shooting in:

India (e-copy only)

USA (paperback and e-copy)

UK (paperback and e-copy)

Australia (paperback and e-copy)

Canada (paperback and e-copy)

Germany (paperback and e-copy)

For the rest – please check your country-specific Amazon pages.

Talking Points:

  • How an idea for a book project sprang from a couple of podcasts
  • The journey to acquire the distribution rights to War Minus the Shooting
  • Navigating contracts and salvaging a manuscript
  • The immense goodwill that this project generated from everyone concerned
  • Gideon Haigh’s foreword that captures the book’s prescience
  • How Marqusee punches down on the powerful – retaining his humour throughout
  • A staunch critique of globalization without any preachiness or hectoring
  • Marqusee’s ability to understand the behavior of crowds – and put a finger on the reasons for the ferment
  • A mighty work of travel writing, political writing, business writing, and sports writing
  • Atmospheric cricket writing – on Tendulkar, Aravinda, Mark Waugh and Warne
  • Marqusee’s innate understanding of the link that binds sports and corporations


Osman Samiuddin (@osmansamiuddin)

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee)

Mahesh Sethuraman (@cornerd)


Revisiting the 1996 World Cup through a classic cricket book – 81allout podcast on War Minus the Shooting – Part 1

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

An unquiet history: an interview with writer Osman Samiuddin – 81allout podcast

When Sachin Tendulkar and Saeed Anwar opened against Murali and Vaas – excerpt from War Minus the Shooting – ESPNcricinfo 

Ghostwriting for Imran, beach cricket with Viv, working for Pataudi – 81allout podcast with Mudar Patherya

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

Mike Marqusee – An American Who Figured Out Cricket – Abhishek Mukherjee –

Other books discussed:

The Unquiet Ones: A History of Pakistan Cricket – Osman Samiuddin

Anyone But England – Mike Marqusee

Pundits From Pakistan – Rahul Bhattacharya

Not Quite Cricket – Pradeep Magazine

Wicked Messenger: Bob Dylan and the 1960s – Mike Marqusee

Defeat from the Jaws of Victory: Inside Kinnock’s Labour Party – Mike Marqusee


A note from Siddhartha Vaidyanathan and Mahesh Sethuraman:

This journey to republication was possible thanks to so many helping hands. A big thanks to:

Liz Davies for trusting us with the distribution rights; Mudar Patherya for putting the seed of the idea in our heads; Sharda Ugra and Fidel Fernando for the wonderful podcast; Clayton Murzello for the unflinching support; Gideon Haigh for generously offering to write the foreword; Mike Atherton for providing a blurb; Kamal Julka for sending the cover photograph in short notice; Vinayak Varma for the brilliant logo and cover design; Kartikeya Date for sending us a PDF of the manuscript; Suhrith Parthasarathy and Swaroop Mami for legal advice; Samanth Subramanian for the enterprise and industry; Ashoka Rao and Deepauk Murugesan for being part of the 81allout journey for three years; and last – but definitely not the least – all our listeners and readers who have driven us to aim higher and do better. Thank you to one and all.

2 thoughts on “Reviving War Minus the Shooting – a chat with Osman Samiuddin”

  1. Great initiative in bringing back a classic. I just finished my copy and its easily one of the best books I’ve read. Am keeping my hard copy around for re-reading 🙂

    In early 96 I was a Chennai based tween, falling in love with the game while recovering from multiple arm surgeries. So had plenty of TV time! The book brought back memories of the matches. Besides, it captured the broad context wonderfully well to the point it explained a lot of the events that followed years later ( IPL, rise of Imran Khan etc).

    @81allout seems like you guys resurrected the Pilcom with your Asian triumvarite :-). Wonderful perspectives from Fidel,Osman and Sharda.

    I think the line in the book captures WC 96 perfectly is – “It was supposed to be a carnival of globalization, instead it became an orgy of nationalism”. As an impressionable youngster I did get caught up in the jingoism fueled frenzy of cheering for India and missing out on the actual cricket. I felt in my case the root cause was me not being aware of domestic cricket ecosystem and limiting my self only to the India games shown on TV. Am sure that was the case with lots of fans of that time. Exposure to the elite ( and sub-elite) levels of the game would definitely help fans understand the sport in sporting terms.

    Later in life when I played club cricket and especially tennis I realized sport is about skills and decision making. I’ve moved over so much to the other side that I now cringe when they play National anthems prior to the start of sporting events. I really really pity the Indo-Pak squads of 96. The incredible pressure they had to deal with which inhibited their cricket for sure.

    My favorite chapter was on the DDCA and that house of horrors – the Kotla. I hope things are not as bad now. I know Mukul Kesavan repeatedly and pointedly trashed the Kotla during his conversation with you guys. I’ve been to the Chepauk a few times- 2001 India vs Aus day 5 I was there! The experience was not that great in terms of cleanliness or comfort , but entry exit was not a big hassle.

    The WI-Kenya game writeup was pure pure genius. And I thought quoting the slogans/headlines often in upper case was hilarious.

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