Captivating cricket fiction is a rarity.
In KN Raghavan’s reverse swing, the lead characters Shankar (a cricketer from Kerala who finds himself caught up in a match-fixing mess) and ex-Indian pace bowler from Kerala make a big leap from grace. You can’t help but find striking parallels in being depressed. After being accused of a match-fixing scandal in 2013. But that’s another story. Here, the hero imagined by Raghavan made a journey from rags to riches. Born in Kochi, Shankar became famous for his cricket thanks to his belly on fire. He became one of the main players in Indian cricket on his team and has developed as one of the most feared fast bowlers in the country. Shankar had a successful and consistent performance in his private cricket in his league as well. But somewhere along the way he got lost. He chased money, made bad friendships, forgot good friends, fell in love with and broke up with actors, was obsessed with malls, and generally let things go awry. Then a tangle of match-fixing ruined his career. This was when the highly pious Shankar, who was a regular visitor to Sabarimala, went through a fragile phase. He repentantly admitted his sin. But was it too late then?
Raghavan carefully weaves in real events while describing how Shankar slides down a hill. A cricket enthusiast looks back on India’s cricketing glorious moments over the past 15 years.
A doctor-turned-IRS official, Raghavan is also a certified cricket umpire, and the book offers valuable insight into the intricacies of the gentleman’s game. Readers get an up-close look at the world of cricket, showing the good and the bad. Indian private cricket league offensive information is thrown in as a fitting vehicle to provide a comprehensive view of things.
Executive Director of the Rubber Board and Chair of the International Rubber Study Group, Mr. Ragavan has authored books on cricket, the Indian-Chinese conflict, the history of Tibet and the Dalai Lama. His IRS officer in his 1990 batch, who refereeed two of his ODIs, has expressed his views on the game. He retired from refereeing in 2013.
Raghavan deserves to write about the glory and obscurity of games. Reverse swing can definitely be read only once.
Along KN Raghavan
Issuer current books
price: Rs320; page: 231