A Book of Cricket Days is no novel concept. You must have sometime or the other read a column in some newspaper titled "Today in History". It's a surprise the author picked up on this much beaten idea. Who the hell wants to know what happened in the world of cricket on 20th November 1936 or 1956 or any other year for that matter. But that's not how Dadabhoy saw it, as i realised only a little later. You may not be curious to know what happened on 20th November 1987, but that's just because you don't know what happened on that fateful Friday, that too in the life of a god fearing Muslim cricket player. The ex-Pakistan captain Rameez Raja became the first victim of cricket's Law 37-1. To add to Raja's displeasure, when he became the first batsman to be given out for obstructing the field in one-day internationals, he was on exactly one short of hundred, on 99. But that's not what the higest point of the book is, for a mere rattling off of such facts and figure would have converted it into a most insipid affair. Raj Singh Dungarpur very correctly point it out in his foreword: "This book with its emphasis on bare facts and records could easily have become a dry catalogue of dreary statistics but the author has avoided this pitfall with diligent and resourceful research and a discerning eye for the colourful detail of anecdote". Dadabhoy had a tough task on hand, yet he has managed to make every single day exciting for the lovers of that beautiful game called cricket. Pick it up for those moments when you come home early to catch an exciting contest of bat and ball only to find the rain-gods playing foul with your plans. So what if that day's cricket is a non-affair. Long, long back, exactly ten or twenty or thirty years back, it was an exciting day of cricket, says Dadabhoy. Let's re-live the joy.
* chai - hindi for tea
dekko - to catch a glimpse