Things about Cricket We did not Know
Nabanipa Bhattacharjee
CRICKET, PUBLIC CULTURE AND THE MAKING OF POSTCOLONIAL CALCUTTA by Souvik Naha Cambridge University Press, New York, 2022, 295 pp., 1450.00
June 2023, volume 47, No 6

Indian society is characterized by immense diversity, a fact which the public and scholars of all hues have never failed to acknowledge and remind us. This claim is undeniably true but what needs reminding too is the other parallel fact of unity. Among the various structural and socio-cultural traits which Indians across cultures, castes, classes and creeds share, it is the love for sport and in particular cricket which stands out. The game of cricket, in India and the subcontinent in general, unites people like nothing else; though, contextually, it sometimes unites to love or even to hate, yet it unites nonetheless. So, what is it about the game of cricket that generates something resembling manic obsession in Indians? Is cricket a pastime or a sport to Indians? Is the association with cricket a path and process for Indians to become modern? Or what is the connection between cricket and public culture, especially of postcolonial Calcutta (Kolkata)? These are, inter alia, some of the concerns that the book by Souvik Naha attempts to address.

Continue reading this review