The playground as a theatre for social and political life: Ramachandra Guha interview

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The playground as a theatre for social and political life: Ramachandra Guha interview

In episode 153 of the 81allout podcast we interview the award-winning author and historian – and one of modern India’s most renowned biographers – Ramachandra Guha.

Talking Points:

  • The idea behind the Corner of a Foreign Field
  • In search of the memories of India’s first great cricketer – Palwankar Baloo
  • The Bombay Pentangular, a long-ago precursor to the Indian Premier League
  • Does the Bombay school of batting begin with the remarkable P Vithal?
  • Baloo and Vithal and their similarities to Jackie Robinson and Mohammad Ali
  • How the city of Bombay is a main character in Corner of a Foreign Field
  • The Parsee influence in the history of Indian cricket
  • CK Naydu’s epochal 153 against the MCC team in 1926-27
  • The evolution of the game in post-independence India
  • Race, caste, religion, and nation – the fissures around Indian cricket
  • The India v Pakistan match in Manchester in 1999 – with their soldiers at war
  • The marvelous raconteur that was Raj Singh Dungarpur
  • Some favourite books on cricket – Haigh, Kidambi, Bhattacharya, Berry, Lister, Marks


Ramachandra Guha (@ramguha)

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee)


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  • Book review: Corner of a Foreign Field – Sharda Ugra – India Today
  • A cricket history of India – Gideon Haigh on Corner of a Foreign Field – ESPNcricinfo
  • The ‘Untouchable’ Cricketer Who Challenged the British & His Fellow Countrymen – Rinchen Norbu Wangchuk – The Better India
  • The first Indian team to visit England – Martin Williamson – ESPNcricinfo
  • India’s entry into Test cricket – Amit Varma – ESPNcricinfo
  • ‘I wanted my own language to have some of the game’s glory’ – 81allout podcast with Surya Prakash Chaturvedi

Books Discussed:

  • Corner of a Foreign Field – Ramachandra Guha – Amazon
  • Spin and Other Turns – Ramachandra Guha – Amazon
  • Cricket, Public Culture, and Making of Post-Colonial Calcutta – Souvik Naha – Cambridge University Press
  • A Stroke of Genius – Gideon Haigh – Amazon
  • On Warne – Gideon Haigh – Amazon
  • Beyond a Boundary – CLR James – Amazon
  • Cricket Country – Prashant Kidambi – Amazon
  • Pundits from Pakistan – Rahul Bhattacharya – Amazon
  • Fire in Babylon – Simon Lister – Amazon
  • Cricket: the game of life – Scyld Berry – Amazon
  • Late Cuts – Vic Marks – Amazon


Lead image from here.

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