Sa’adi Thawfeeq reviews two books on Lankan cricket

Courtesy of The Nation , 17 April 2011

Incursions & Excursions In And Around Sri Lankan Cricket
By Michael Roberts
Published by Vijitha Yapa Publications
Price: Rs. 1,500/-
Mariamma, groundswoman extraordinary- Oval, Colombo

Sathasivam & Bradman toss, 1948

 Moment of triumph, 17 March 1996, Lahore —Pic from Crosscurrents

Michael Roberts has painstakingly done a lot of research in putting together his latest book Incursions & Excursions in and around Sri Lankan Cricket. The book brings to light a wide variety of subjects like the politics that affect Sri Lanka Cricket administration, the ethnicity involving clubs and national teams, the LTTE’s attempts to promote their cause through cricket, the Muralitharan controversy saga and its repercussions and the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team at Lahore. All these chapters have been widely researched by Roberts who has the knack of gathering information by talking to people concerned and storing it in a computer like mind to put it later into print form either by articles which he sends widely to various newspapers or present it in a book like the one under review. The outstanding feature of the book is the photos section where Roberts has managed to lay his hands on some rare and unpublished photos of Sri Lanka cricket (there are over 100 colour and black and white photos). The book has been written in his own inimitable style. The one flaw in the publication is in the photos section titled Great Moments & Significant Facet (34) where it features pictures of a Sidath Wettimuny cover drive, a young Arjuna Ranatunga returning to the pavilion after a fighting knock against Australia in 1983 and another picture of Ranatunga acknowledging the cheers after his final innings for his country. All three pictures have the identical caption of ‘Sidath Wettimuny drives’. If not for this rare lapse it is another fine Roberts’s masterpiece. – [ST]

From Rags To Riches
By Rex Clementine

Published by Godage International Publishers (Pvt) Ltd
Price: Rs 800/-
Rex Clementine’s maiden effort at writing a book on cricket should be lauded. He has put together a series of 50 articles – Memorable World Cup Moments of Sri Lanka – based on Sri Lanka’s performances in the World Cup which he wrote in his daily newspaper The Island of which he is the sports editor. Rex’s is an ambitious effort and shows his enthusiasm for the sport. The book comprises interviews with a wide range of Sri Lankan cricketers, coaches, administrators and supporter (there is only one genuine supporter and that is Percy) in Q & A form to make easy reading. Rex has managed to extract some rare insights into the game from the people whom he has interviewed and brought to light little known facts of what happens behind the scenes during a World Cup tournament. The book is more about other people expressing their views, experience and ideas. Rex’s next effort should be based on expressing his own views on the game. The 224 page book is illustrated with black and white photographs some not published before. It’s a handy book for whoever wants to go to down memory lane and recall Sri Lanka’s memorable moments in World Cup history. – [ST]

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  1. Pingback: Sa’adi Thawfeeq reviews SL Domestic Tourney as final rounds are reached « Critiquing Cricket

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