Thursday, April 20, 2006

Men of letters... and cricket

It is extremely rare that an essay/article by Gideon Haigh disappoints me (in fact, I cannot recall one). Increasingly, I'm veering round to the view that he is by far the best cricket writer alive. Of course, as such opinions go, it is subject to personal likes and dislikes, so that is what it is - just an opinion. One has to make a clear distinction between journalists and writers and as much as I enjoy reading many of the former tribe, (good) writers are a breed apart. Haigh is one such. From whatever little I have read of the man, he comes across as someone who is as much a scholar as a wordsmith (and boy is he one!). Add to that a great passion for the game - the kind of passion that one finds only in people that have played the game. Again, irrational as it may be, I find a difference between those who are passionate about the game but have never played the game at a level that requires them to be immersed completely in the game and those like Haigh (he plays for a club in Victoria, I forget the name). I wonder if Neville Cardus, who I have never read, did play the game much. In any case, I guess it is pointless to analyse why I like a certain writer more than a certain other writer. So here goes the list of my favourite current cricket writers (in that order?): Gideon Haigh Mukul Kesavan Ramachandra Guha Among the journalistic types, I quite like Greg Baum of The Age, Peter Roebuck who seems to write pretty much everywhere, Harsha Bhogle (on occasion) and Dileep Premachandran and Chandrahas Choudhury of Cricinfo. Among regular newspaper columnists in India, I think Ayaz Memon is one of the best. Of course, there are a lot more, but to name them all would be tough. Among player columnists, Ian Chappell stands out for his sharp observations and no-holds-barred views. - NK


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have not read much of Gideon Haigh. But Kesavan, Guha, Harsha, Peter Roebuck are some of my favourites too. Talking about the newspaper columnists, Gavaskar remains one of my favourites. Going beyond the conventional match report of previews, he explores those areas of the game which are not directly accessible to us and only very few people talk about (especially the Sportstar columns and the "Different Strokes" on Sunday TT. The latter was one of the many reasons you bought TT for, I guess :-)).
- Saby

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Pratyush said...

Nice compilation there Nanda. I would have a similar list if I create one.

I do know that Kesavan is my favourite Indian writer. Absolute champ.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Gameboys said...

Agree about Sunny, Saby, but I do think his columns have become a bit jaded lately (admittedly I don't read his columns regularly now). I think he'll do much better if he wrote a little less (frequently). Check out Haigh's article about Dilip Doshi on Cricinfo.

Pratyush, couldn't agree more about Kesavan.

Btw, I didn't realise that I left out R Mohan. I cannot believe I did.
- NK

8:40 PM  

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