25 February, 2021

From WACA To Wagah

Two 'cricket tragic' nations savour delights beyond the boundary

From WACA To Wagah

It was a great pity George Bush's flight into India earlier this year overshadowed the visit of Australian Prime Minister John Howard. For, not only can Howard roll his arm over in a manner to shame the leader of the free world, he is aware of the legend of the Amarnaths and is as familiar with Sachin Tendulkar's statistics as the most recent Indo-Australian trade figures.

Indeed, he may well know it was Gogumal Kischenchand who was bowling when Don Bradman scored his hundredth hundred at Sydney in November 1947. He has, after all, been famously described by former Australian captain Mark Taylor as a "cricket tragic" (in this context, 'tragic' means someone passionate, perhaps obsessive, about the game).

While rarely recognised by historians and social anthropologists, a shared love of cricket has been fundamental to the relationship between Australia and India which has matured so strikingly over the past 25 years or so. Indeed, the Australian cricket community had an awareness of India and the Indian diaspora long before...

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