Rahul Bhattacharya in ESPNcricinfo’s The Cricket Monthly, October 2016, where the ttile reads “When Ranga comes ’round ….. In praise of a spinner whose contributions are as generous as his girth”
Proper tribute is paid to the belly that “turns towards the batsman like a planet rotating to face the sun”, to diving stops reminiscent of “the controlled collapse of a building in one of those inner-city demolitions”
The reigning rajah of round now is Rangaiyya, and in this short editorial I do disservice to his bowling by focusing on his physical charms. Andrew Fidel Fernando’s superb cover story has no such failings. Don’t get me wrong: proper tribute is paid to the belly that “turns towards the batsman like a planet rotating to face the sun”, to diving stops reminiscent of “the controlled collapse of a building in one of those inner-city demolitions”. Along with that it is a fine appreciation of Herath’s bowling with its minor subtleties, his temperament (“serial optimism”), his immense impact in different formats of the game, his village world of Waduwawa with its coconut and jackfruit trees. One may conclude that Herath has been a jackfruit for Sri Lanka – a reference for which you must read the story.
There’s plenty more in the issue. Movies appear in two places: one of India’s leading film writers Baradwaj Rangan gives us a comprehensive tour of cricket in Hindi movies, and Brydon Coverdale recalls a few great and ghastly cricket scenes in English-language films. There is a heap of interesting numerical matter: four writers on the best stats measure, and a fascinating study by Charles Davis of dropped catches through Test history. There is an essay about a mother-daughter cricket adventure in Lima.
Not unlike a cricket team, a magazine has to constantly retire old regulars and debut new ones. You may have noticed some over the past few months. Since March, Mathew Varghese has been putting together a quiz (rating: difficult). Since July, Russel Herneman has been doing us a cartoon. In August, Simon Barnes, who finished off a series of his ten best cricket moments, revived a sawn-off regular, Wordplay. This month we begin another series, on cricket in fiction, written by Benjamin Golby and illustrated by Jeffrey Phillips. Fittingly, the first entry stars a Sri Lankan spinner.
Rahul Bhattacharya is the author of the cricket tour book Pundits from Pakistanand the novel The Sly Company of People Who Care
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