The Saturday Book Review: Cricket Drona-For the Love of Vasoo Paranjape

The Saturday Book Review: Cricket Drona-For the Love of Vasoo Paranjape

Title: Cricket Drona-For the Love of Vasoo Paranjape

Author: Jatin Paranjape and Anand Vasu

Publisher: Penguin /Ebury Press (2020)

ISBN: 978-0-670-09215-4

TNA Rating: *****

The Cricket Fever is on The scare of the Pandamec countered with the excitement of the IPL Cricket Lovers glued to the Television Sets for the fast forward T-20 matches. In the midst comes a once in a decade Cricket Blockbuster. ‘The Cricket Drona’ dedicated to the contribution of Vasoo Paranjape in shaping the careers of the some of the greats of Indian Cricket.

With a foreword by none other than Sunil Gavaskar. It has a collection of essays written by the stalwarts of the Indian Cricketing world. Sachin Tendulkar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sandeep Patil, Sanjay Manjrekar, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Ajay Jadeja and many others.

In the words of the Authors “Thats what this book is all about:celebrating a man who made it his life’s mission to give the gift of his wisdom to as many cricketers as he could reach out to a man whose mission it was to identify talent, nurture it and strategically place it in the best pathways and in the best hands, so it could soar as high as possible.

In the words of Sachin Tendulkar “ A must read about a gem of a man with a fantastic eye for spotting talent “

The authors take us through the life of cricketing genius Vasoo Paranjape, who left a defining impact on the game, shaping the careers of some of Indian cricket’s greatest figures, from Sunil Gavaskar to Sachin Tendulkar, from Rahul Dravid to Rohit Sharma.

This book is a first hand chronicle of stories , life lessons and game-changing experiences, written in the words of those who were lucky enough to have crossed paths with Paranjape at just the right time in their careers. For generations of cricketers across India , and even for some in other parts of the world, Paranjape has been an inspiration, a mentor, friend and guide.

“All my life i’ve been attached to the game of cricket, and even now I keep learning something new from it-something fascinating ,interesting and worthwhile. I have coached for several years, and the talent that I now see emerging is very impressive. However most youngsters play to get something out of this great game, and their experience is devoid of pleasure and the humour. I feel the game is the poorer for it.Pleasure and humour play a great part in uplifting the spirits on the field.The humour banter and jokes exchanged during a match remain forever etched in one’s memory” Vasoo Paranjape.

Sunil Gavaskar writes “ On my second trip to Australia as vice captain of the Indian Team, Vasoo told me that if I met Sir Don I shouldn’t leave his side even for a second. I was told, observe everything remember what he says, take notes” and he continues “ On that tour we were at a dinner reception hosted by the South Australian Cricket Association , and i was sitting next to Sir Don. I sat and listened to the great man as he talked about the 1947-48 Indian Team and about his correspondence with Vijay Merchant and Russi Mody. He said he regretted not having stepped out on to the deck to wave at the thousands of Indian fans who had gathered quayside just to get the glimpse of the great man when the ship carrying the Australian team to England had docked in Mumbai in 1948”

A great collection of articles by the finest in the field and a must read for all cricket enthusiasts, young and budding cricketers, cricket journalists, critics, coaches across the spectrum of sports, talent hunters, administrators in the field and those in governance as well.

And a parting shot by me Sport, more so Cricket, is a Skill and should be recognised as such and should be a part of the Skilling mission of the Govt of India. "If this book inspires anyone to think more deeply about the game, about why we play it, why we watch it, comment on it, cry over it, feel the highs of victory and the lows of defeat-that would be a fair reward for me” muses Jatin Paranjape.

(The author of this book review is a Lucknow-based businessman and Co-Chairman PHD Chambers of Commerce and the Founder Chair of Confederation of Indian Industry-Young Indians.)

This Book Is Available @ Universal Booksellers

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