Why India Can Never Do without Cricket Paperback – 8 Mar 2011
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If one were to do a nationwide poll of Indians born after Independence and ask which is the one date they remember most, the answer may well be 25 June 1983, the date on which India won the cricket World Cup. It is often said that cricket in India is like a religion; nothing could be more misleading. Religion has scarred the nation more deeply than anything else. Cricket is the balm that heals. In India's collective consciousness, there is nothing quite like cricket. As the most visible expression of national identity, as an obsession or a dream, cricket is the only thing that possibly unites a country as diverse and as contradiction-ridden as India. In this brilliant book, Soumya Bhattacharya shows how India has made this game their own, given it their own colour, their own customs, their own codes and how cricket in turn has come to permeate every aspect of their public life, from popular culture to politics - so that, when a game is on, the rest of life happens strictly between overs. In the end, All That You Can't Leave Behind is as much about India as it is about cricket.