Two classic sports books ‘A Maharaja’s Turf’ and ‘Don’s Century’ by Indra Vikram Singh

 

 

 

 

 

A Maharaja’s Turf

Fully illustrated

148 pages, hardbound, 28 cm x 22 cm (A-4 landscape)

 

Fascinating tale of the only Indian owner ever to win the blue riband of the turf 

 

This is the story of the exhilarating win of Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla in the English Derby at Epsom in 1934, the only Indian owner to win the blue riband of the turf in its 230-year history. His horse Windsor Lad triumphed on that cloudy afternoon of 6th June, earning him a unique hat-trick of Derby victories as he had already clinched the first Indian Derby at Calcutta in 1919 with his horse Tipster, and the Irish Derby at Curragh in 1926 with Embargo.

 

It is a fully illustrated book by Maharaja Vijaysinhji’s grandson Indra Vikram Singh, with classic photos of the race and from the Rajpipla royal family collection over many generations. It has been extensively researched from about 80 newspapers and magazines of 1934 and books and websites, and carries articles by the Maharaja himself. There are news reports, cartoons and caricatures which open out a whole new world. The book features King George V and Queen Mary and other members of the British royal family, the Aga Khan, Maharaja Man Singh II of Jaipur and the leading racehorses, owners, trainers and jockeys of the day, among other eminent personalities.

 

The book affords a look at a bygone era of a princely way of life, into the period between the two World Wars, delves into history and links the past with present times. It unfolds the tale of the uncanny prophesy of Gipsy Lee, the several coincidences around the number 13, the defeat of a ‘super-horse’, and the unrelenting quest of a prince to realise his dream that is bound to keep the reader transfixed.

 

A special digitally printed edition is available for corporate gifting.

 

 

Don’s Century

Fully illustrated

188 pages, French fold paperback, 27 cm x 21 cm (A-4)

 

Biography of Don Bradman and a panaroma of batting from the 1860s to the present times

 

‘Don’s Century’ pays tribute to Sir Donald Bradman, the greatest batsman there has ever been, whose birth centenary was celebrated in 2008. The book by Indra Vikram Singh, the only Indian biographer of Bradman, is a celebration of the life and magical willow of The Don, and also of the art of batting and indeed the game of cricket

 

The 11-chapter book, interspersed with stories and comments from legendary writers and cricketers alike, and extensively researched from scores of old publications, has three sections.

 

The main segment brings forth Bradman’s days at the crease from Bowral to Sydney, on to Lord’s and Leeds, back to Adelaide, and finishing at The Oval in 1948. The legend begins with young Don’s rise to the top, his first fifty and hundred in the backwaters of Bowral, the maiden double century against Wingello and triple ton versus Moss Vale, hundred on first-class debut and on to Test cricket. Bradman’s legendary feats in the Test arena are recalled in all their magnificence, the hundreds in his first Test series, the unprecedented and still-unparalleled triumphs of the Ashes tour of 1930, and annihilation of the West Indies and South African teams.

 

The saga undergoes a dramatic twist with the vicious Bodyline attack that was devised solely to decimate the genius of Bradman. This chapter carries extracts from letters received by the author from England’s Bob Wyatt who was vice captain to Douglas Jardine during this infamous series.

 

The aftermath of Bodyline, Bradman’s stirring fightbacks on and off the field, how his stirring deeds brought solace to the suffering millions during the Great Depression, and his resilience as captain of Australia are presented lucidly, leading to the sabbatical brought about by the Second World War. The final lap of The Don’s career after the war, the firm hold on the Ashes, his exploits against the first Indian team after the nation’s independence, and finally the 1948 tour of England by his ‘Invincibles’ are described vividly and objectively. The text is supplemented by twenty scorecards detailing Bradman’s finest achievements in the first-class and Test arenas.

 

A large chapter in the middle is a panorama of batting portraying thirty-four of the best players from W.G. Grace, K.S. Ranjitsinhji, Victor Trumper and Jack Hobbs to Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden, for no story of Sir Donald Bradman can be complete without an appraisal of other giants of the crease. 

 

The third and concluding part explores Don Bradman’s personal life and family, his persona and way of life, post-retirement days and role as cricket administrator, trials and tribulations, and the final stretch of one of the most amazing stories ever, of a sporting hero and icon beyond compare. The book carries a handwritten letter from The Don received by the author Indra Vikram Singh in 1999, and an article based on it that he wrote at Bradman’s demise in 2001.

 

There are nearly 100 classic black & white photographs of Bradman and other greats. A comprehensive statistical section highlighting Bradman’s accomplishments and records sums up the inspirational tale. There is a detailed index that makes the book extremely user-friendly.

 

 

For details please contact:

Indra Vikram Singh

Sporting Links

H-801 Wembley Estate, Rosewood City, Sector 50, Gurgaon-122018, Haryana, India

Mobile + 91 9899579063, Email teddy.rajpipla@gmail.com

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