Binod K. Mishra, reviewing “Forces and Strands in Sri Lanka’s Cricket History” by Michael Roberts, Colombo, Social Scientists’ Association, 2006, 64 pp., 21 photographs, bibliography, Rs. 300 (paperback), ISBN 9559102826 …. location of original review and date of publication is yet unclear
“Arise Sir Davenel”
Cricket brought to Sri Lanka the reputation of, and a genuine recognition as, a nation. The rationale for such an observation is the infamous reputation Sri Lanka has earned due to decade-old ethnic rivalry and insurgency that has threatened the concept of nationhood in the country. The World Cup triumph in 1996 and the heroic performances before and after that event have put Sri Lanka prominently not onlyon the sports map but also on the political map of the world in a positive sense. But the story of the riseof Sri Lankan cricket is not a normal rags-to-riches story but is filled with events that in some sense correspond to its political history. Michael Roberts’ work presents this interesting story of Sri Lankan cricket. Written in the year 2004, the booklet recapitulates, albeit briefly, the entire history of the game on this country. It is a vivid description of the evolution of cricket in the former colony of Britain. Throughout the evolutionary history of cricket, the author finds a clear reflection of the socio-political situation of Sri Lanka. Continue reading
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SinhaRaja Tammita-Delgoda, in Eurasia Review, 7 September 2017, where the title is “Transforming South Asia: A Key To The Future ”
Commonalities are what we have in common. In most parts of South Asia the inheritance is common, shared origins, shared languages, shared religions and shared cultures. Yet in each case this common inheritance has diverged and taken its own unique path. This divergence has occurred at different times, in Sri Lanka it has taken place over millennia, in Bhutan and Nepal over several centuries, in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh it has happened during the 20th century. It is a history of common origins taking different shapes and forms with very different interests.
As South Asians we have a shared inheritance but do we have common interests? Do these common interests coincide with our national interests? Do our national interests converge? Where, when and at what cost? Only once we have achieved it can we seek transformation.
Hambantota Continue reading
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Anindya Dutta, in The Cricket Monthly, 25 June 2018, where the title reads “A dinner in 1946”
It was the last tour by undivided India to Britain. It was the summer of Merchant and Mankad, and independence was around the corner.The year was 1946. England was caught between the exhilaration of emerging victorious from the Second World War and the devastation the war had wrought upon the country, both in terms of people and resources. Rationing was still in place, and the economy was in tatters.For six long years, while war raged, cricket had taken a backseat. There had been little first-class cricket, and the battlefields claimed some of England’s most talented players, like the venerated Hedley Verity. There were only 11 first-class matches in the 1945 season. Nineteen forty-six was the first year when a normal county season was scheduled and Test cricket could again be played. Cricket was seen as a way to restore a feeling of normalcy to a country severely affected by war and its consequences.
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Sachitra Mahendra, in Daily News, 27 November 2018, with this title “Something to crow about…”
Pasenadi, the king of Kosala, had 16 bad dreams one night. His Brahmin consultants warned harm either to his kingdom, his life or his wealth. They recommended all kinds of sacrifices to avoid danger. However, Queen Mallika suggested that the Buddha should be consulted. The king followed her advice.
His 15th dream of a wicked village crow attended by mallards was interpreted as the rise of the ignorant, cowardly and inferior category of footmen and barbers into kingly stature over kings of genuine royal descent. The kings of genuine descent will have to patiently watch the men of inferior birth and stature tread the royal corridors of power.
Romila Thapar, in The Hindu, 27 November 2019, where the title is “Remembering Iravatham Mahadevan”
“He knew more about Indian epigraphy and the linguistic aspects of Dravidian and Indo-Aryan than some specialists”
I heard the news on Monday morning of the passing of Iravatham Mahadevan and was deeply saddened. Mahadevan, or Jani as his friends called him, was a special person of extraordinary talent and a much-respected scholar despite his having worked in administration for most of his professional life. Continue reading