Eleven Gods and a Billion Indians goes deep into every Indian cricket tour - taking the reader backstage to when India played its first test in 1932, and bringing the story forward to the more contemporary IPL - to provide a complex and nuanced understanding of the evolution and maturity of the game.
Equally, it comes with material that has never entered the public domain so far - going behind the scenes of cases like Monkeygate, the suspension of Lalit Modi, spot fixing and the phase of judicial intervention. It carries not just reportage and analysis but also player reminiscences, personal interviews, photographs and letters never known or discussed so far in Indian sporting discourse.
Weaving together such material, Eleven Gods and a Billion Indians unflinchingly confronts questions that demand answering, among them: Has internal bickering impacted the on field performance of the Indian cricket team? Did some of our icons fail the country and the sport by trying to conceal important facts during the spot fixing investigation? And does it matter to the ordinary fan who heads the BCCI as long as there is transparency and accountability in the system?
In the end, in telling the story of the role of cricket in colonial and postcolonial Indian life, and the interrelationship between those who patronize, promote, play and view the sport, Eleven Gods and a Billion Indians unravels the story of a nation now considered the financial nerve centre of world cricket.
Boria Majumdar, a Rhodes scholar, is recognized as one of India's most influential commentators on sport. Having covered international sport between 2000 and 2017, he is currently Consulting Editor, Sports, India Today Group and Senior Research Fellow, University of Central Lancashire. He was formerly Sports Expert at Times Now and Visiting Professor at the Universities of Chicago and Toronto. Majumdar has written more than 1,000 columns on sport over the last fifteen years, and has authored/co-authored multiple books, among them Olympics: The India Story (with Nalin Mehta) and Playing It My Way - Sachin Tendulkar's autobiography.