Thursday, August 16, 2007

Indian Summers - John Wright

John Wright's Indian Summers with Sharda Ugra and Paul Thomas 

Heart warming, funny, and down-to-earth

I finished reading John Wright's Indian Summers last weekend. John Wright was the coach of the Indian cricket team for five years. The book is neatly divided into chapters that correspond to a tour or season of the Indian team. So, there is one chapter each on the Australian team's visit of 2001 (who can forget that!), India's tour of Pakistan in 2004, the England tour of 2002, the West Indies tour of 2002, the Australian tour of 2003-04, etc... Then there is a chapter on Wright's experiences with the selection system, its regional quota system, another one on the struggles that the aspiring Indian cricketer has to go through to make it, or not. Srinath, Kaif, Kumble, Yuvraj, Harbhajan and many more are covered...

A couple of points about the book - Wright almost never drops names, he writes about controversial topics without resorting to being sensationalistic (the Dravid declaration in the Multan test when Tendulkar was on 194* for example). The second point is that Wright ultimately comes across as a very decent man with a genuine love for India - which is very heartwarming indeed (contrast it with the rather disgusting 'In Spite of the Gods' by Ed Luce).