Cricket is the only game I played in school. Over several years, this is the game that instilled in me discipline and perseverance. It taught me what it means to play with and for your team. It taught me what it means to compete fairly. Lessons that were to benefit me immensely in later years in my corporate life.
Cricket is also the only game that kept me glued to the television screen for hours. Growing up through the eighties and nineties, I watched my heroes on the field snatch unexpected victory from the jaws of imminent defeat, or, lose gracefully in the true spirit of the game, only to rise from the ashes in the next match. And my scrapbooks with their pictures kept piling up.
My interest was not limited only to their antics on the field. I wanted to know them as human beings and not just as larger-than-life heroes. This curiosity drew me to sports magazines and memoirs of cricketers, which, needless to say, I devoured with relish. I would also spend hours watching their interviews on TV, trying to understand how their lives were off the field. With time and advancement of technology, the sources of information changed. But, my interest in the lives of cricketing legends remained the same.
And over the years, I have come to realize that, there are amazing stories unfolding off the field that need to be told. There are inspiring stories of how one can fulfil one’s dreams against all odds. There are stories of heart-warming romance that challenge conventions and break rules. And there are thrilling stories of scandals and global conspiracies.
These are the stories that I present in the series ‘Beyond 22 Yards’. These are stories where our heroes become human beings – like you and me – whom each one of us can relate to. They win some, they lose some. Sometimes you see them making mistakes and falling. And sometimes they leave us stunned with their grit and iron determination, and emerge winners at the end of the day.
I am sure you will love reading their stories as much as I enjoyed researching on them and writing this book. You will realize, just as I did, that truth is often more exciting and entertaining than fiction.