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New book refers Mahatma Gandhi as ‘dashing cricketer’

The author of the book further spoke about the book saying it is an attempt to figure out how the sport found a place in the Gandhian era.

Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Whenever the name of Mahatma Gandhi springs up, the Indian nation looks back at the days of the freedom struggle. Gandhi, who is revered as the father of the nation in India, is remembered for his contribution towards making India an independent nation. Very few people know that he was closely associated with the sport of cricket too.

As per the recent reports in Hindustan Times, a new book titled ‘Mahatma on the Pitch: Gandhi & Cricket in India’ is all set hit the stores recent. The book illustrates how Gandhi enjoyed and embraced the British sport. The author of the book, Kausik Bandopadhyay, mentions in the book that Gandhi was not a cricket enthusiast but also wielded the cricket willow. One of his friends has been quoted in the book referring to Maharam Gandhi as a ‘dashing cricketer’.

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“Many a time we played cricket together, and I remember that he was good at batting and bowling, though he had an aversion to physical exercises at school. Once we were watching a cricket match together. In those days, there were ding-dong battles between teams of Rajkot city and Rajkot Sadar (camp area),” quoted Gandhi’s highschool mate Ratilal Ghelabhai Mehta.

“At a crucial moment in the match, as if through intuition, Gandhiji said that a particular player would be out and, hey presto! That batsman was really out,” Mehta added.

From the author’s desk

The author of the book further spoke about the book saying it is an attempt to figure out how the sport found a place in the Gandhian era. It answers the questions like: Did Gandhi ever play cricket? Did cricket ever figure in the Gandhian world of thought? What views did the most important man in the history of India’s freedom struggle have on the game that dominates Indian national consciousness in the twenty-first century?

“This was because politics and sports go hand in hand in modern India. The points of convergence and conflict between Gandhi and cricket, therefore, merit attention and exploration,” quoted the author Kaushik Bandhopadhyay.

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