Brave New Pitch
Rs. 299 pp 214
At a time when almost every expert has sunk his fingers deep into the cricket pie, it is difficult to get unadulterated opinion on the sport. While there's no dearth of views on cricket - everyone wants to offer a prognosis on the issues engulfing the gentleman's game - Samir Chopra has managed to remain dispassionate. If you have followed cricket, you will find that most of what Chopra mentions in 'Brave New Pitch' has been discussed ad nauseam in print, on television and the Web. For instance, the club-country debate, which has been around since 2008, the inaugural year of the Indian Premier League. Or the subject of formats (T20Is versus ODIs vs Tests), which has been discussed since the evolution of the One-Day game in the 1970s.
The cover has an caricature of what looks like WG Grace in coloured clothing. Grace, who played for England (in whites) with distinction between 1880 and 1899, is regarded as the man responsible for creating spectator interest in cricket. 'Brave New Pitch' offers cricket fans, both young and old, a compelling mix of history and famous anecdotes. It also puts forth a prescription for all that ails cricket, though most of the ideas have been floating around for a while. The writer has spent long hours watching, reading and discussing cricket, a sport he is shamelessly addicted to. And that shows in the book.
In terms of research, Chopra is as meticulous as Rahul Dravid. In terms of language, he has the fluency of Brian Lara. And his passion for the game? Let's just say he's Indian.