A Corner of a Foreign Field seamlessly interweaves biography with history, the lives of famous or forgotten cricketers with wider processes of social change. C. K. Nayudu and Sachin Tendulkar naturally figure in this book, but so, too, in unexpected ways, do B. R. Ambedkar, Mahatma Gandhi, and M. A. Jinnah. The Indian careers of those great British cricketers, Lord Harris and D. R. Jardine, provide a window into the operations of Empire. The remarkable life of India's first great slow bowler, Palwankar Baloo, provides an arresting new perspective on the struggle against caste discrimination. Later chapters explore the competition between Hindu and Muslim cricketers in colonial India and the destructive passions now provoked when India plays Pakistan.
For this new edition, Ramachandra Guha has added a long epilogue bringing the story up to date to cover, among other things, the advent of the Indian Premier League and the Indian teams victory in the World Cup of 2011, these linked to social and economic transformations in contemporary India.
A pioneering work, essential for anyone interested in either of those vast themes, cricket and India, A Corner of a Foreign Field is also a beautifully written meditation on the ramifications of sport in society at large.