Friday, April 24, 2015

A Much Cherished Review of 50 Not Out! - V. Ramnarayan On His Blog

V. Ramnarayan is described by many of his peers as a 'magical' off spinner. He was not just about craft but about combativeness and match winning ability. And the more I see of Ram and read about him I know he must have been quite an interesting character - a rebel of sorts. Ram played first class cricket with the glamorous, star studded Hyderabad side in the 70s that was led by M.L. Jaisimha and had in its ranks the likes of Pataudi, Abbas Ali Baig, Abid Ali, Krishnamurthi, Govind Raj, Jayantilal etc. Ram held his own, won many games for his side, and went as far as being part of the Indian team's probables.

But that is not why I consider this a cherished review. The reason is this. When I write about cricket my main apprehension is this - not many who review the book understand both aspects. Rarely does one find someone who has played cricket and who has also written professionally. The closest one comes to are sports journalists who have played cricket.

But when one plays cricket at a level higher than club cricket we know that his understanding is of a slightly higher level thanks to the exposure. The finer aspects of the game are better understood and appreciated by such and my fond hope always has been that they would somehow sympathise with my efforts some more and perhaps nod in agreement at some of my observations. Naturally when someone of Ram's caliber as a writer and a cricketer, and more importantly, as a student of life, okays my effort, it does become special. I was thrilled when Rajan Bala gave me a stunning review for 'The Men Within' - he knew his cricket and his writing and Ram's review gives me the same pleasure.

Thanks Ram.

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