A Maharaja’s Turf
Collector’s edition on the triumph of Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji
of Rajpipla in the Epsom Derby of England in 1934
Published in India by Sporting Links
Hardcover with jacket 8.75 x 11.5 x 0.6 inches (landscape)
Available at an attractive price on Amazon https://www.amazon.in/dp/8190166832
This is the story of the exhilarating victory of Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla in the Epsom Derby of England in 1934, the only Indian owner to win the blue riband of the turf in its history dating back to 1780. The dapper Indian prince’s horse Windsor Lad left the hitherto undefeated favourite Colombo trailing in third place in the presence of royalty led by King George V and Queen Mary, and a multitude of an estimated quarter to half a million people on that damp afternoon of 6th June. The triumph earned the Maharaja 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.
The enthralling tale recounted by the Maharaja’s grandson Indra Vikram Singh offers an insider’s insight, and is embellished with rare media photographs 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, five books and websites, and carries articles by the Maharaja himself. There are news reports, cartoons and caricatures which open out a whole new world. Featured are 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 captures the era between the two World Wars, of imperial times and a royal lifestyle, also going back centuries into history, connecting the past and the present and depicting the march of time, even as the thrilling race remains the central theme. 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.
Biography of Don Bradman
and a panaroma of batting from the 1860s to the present times
Published in India by Sporting Links
Paperback French Fold 11 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
Available at an attractive price on Amazon https://www.amazon.in/dp/8190166859
The questions still asked are: how great was Don Bradman actually, was he just a run-getting machine and a statistical marvel, or was he truly the best there has ever been, have there been other batsmen as good or better than Bradman. Don’s Century analyses Bradman’s batting technique, brings forth his amazing achievements at the crease, and assesses the merits of other great batsmen from the 1860s to the present times. Written in the centenary year of the peerless Don Bradman, the book is a celebration of the life and magic of the willow of The Don, and also of the art of batting and indeed the game of cricket.
The 11-chapter book by Indra Vikram Singh, the only Indian biographer of Bradman, 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 showcases 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 that infamous series.
The aftermath of Bodyline, Bradman’s exhilarating 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 down the ages, for no story of Sir Donald Bradman can be complete without an appraisal of other giants of the crease.
Commencing with the colossus of the Victorian era Dr. W.G. Grace, the captivating genius Prince Ranjitsinhji, the endearing and enthralling Victor Trumper from Australia, the complete master Sir Jack Hobbs, continuing with the likes of Frank Woolley, Charles ‘Governor General’ Macartney, Bill Ponsford, Walter Hammond, Stan McCabe, the forbear to West Indies giants George Headley, the brilliant South Africans Bruce Mitchell and Dudley Nourse, India’s Vijay Merchant, Sir Leonard Hutton, Dennis Compton, Neil Harvey, Arthur Morris, the inimitable Ws Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Everton Weekes and Sir Clyde Walcott, the original little master Pakistan’s Hanif Mohammad, the incomparable Sir Garfield Sobers, Graeme Pollock, Barry Richards, Greg Chappell, Sunil Gavaskar, Sir Vivian Richards, arguably New Zealand’s finest Martin Crowe, Steve Waugh, the exhilarating Sri Lankan Aravinda de Silva, and concluding with the champions of the modern era Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden, and many more referred to down history, how good they were, and how they compared with each other and Bradman.
They include some of Bradman’s favourite players. This is not just a factual or statistical segment, but importantly talks about the epochs and conditions they played in, and also has interesting little tales. It traces the evolution and development of the game from W.G. Grace’s days in the 1860s till the present day.
The third and concluding part explores the vicissitudes of Bradman’s life, trials and tribulations, his persona, way of life and quest for excellence, the detractors, friends and family, post-retirement days and role as cricket administrator, and the final stretch of one of the most amazing stories ever, of a sporting hero and icon beyond compare. 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, are all featured in this tribute to the unquestioned king of kings of the crease.
There are nearly 100 classic photographs of Bradman and other greats in sepia brown from the top agencies of the world. A comprehensive statistics section highlighting Bradman’s accomplishments and records sums up the inspirational tale. A detailed index makes the book extremely user-friendly.
The Big Book of World Cup Cricket
A definitive coffee-table collector’s edition
on the ICC World Cups 1975 to 2011
Published in India by Sporting Links
Hardcover with jacket 11.5 x 8.75 x 1 inches
Available at an attractive price on Amazon https://www.amazon.in/dp/8190166840
The Big Book of World Cup Cricket is a definitive, fully-illustrated all-colour collector’s edition that contains virtually everything about all the cricket World Cups from 1975 to 2011.
Beginning with a story of every tournament from 1975 to 2007, including the commercial facet, sponsorship and prize money, logos and mascots, it carries a preview of the 2011 event as well. There are highlights and sidelights, drama and controversy, and the stars of the biggest event in One-day cricket.
Featured are 49 classic matches, those nail-biting encounters and stunning upsets, and 51 memorable individual performances by players in different matches. The Hall of Fame section showcases 93 top players in the World Cup and also comprises interviews with Cup-winning captains Kapil Dev, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting.
The statistics sections comprise a wide range of records, and performances of all the 19 teams that have appeared in the first nine editions of the World Cup, detailed scorecards of all the 303 matches played from 1975 to 2007, and batting averages, bowling averages and fielding data of all the 823 players who turned out in the premier event.
The tailenders bring forth the lighter moments and trivia. As many as 250 photographs, mostly in colour, from the world’s leading photographers and agencies Patrick Eagar, Getty Images and Pradeep Mandhani embellish this mammoth effort.
The piece-de-resistance is a handwritten letter of Sir Donald Bradman received by the author in 1999, which led him to dedicate the book to The Don.
Special souvenir on India’s win in the ICC World Cup 2011
Published by Sporting Links
Paperback 11 x 8.5 x 0.1 inches
Available at an attractive price on Amazon https://www.amazon.in/dp/8190166867
Crowning Glory is a special supplement on India’s triumph in the ICC World Cup 2011, written, designed and produced by Indra Vikram Singh. The tenth edition of One-day cricket’s biggest show returned to the sub-continent for the third time. Never had the hosts triumphed on home soil, but in 2011 the favourites India, despite a few stutters, jubilantly lifted the glittering ICC World Cup for the second time at Mumbai on the balmy evening of 2nd April.
This was not only the crowning glory for an inspired Indian team that had striven hard to win the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in 2007 and attain the no. 1 spot in Test cricket in 2010, but also the missing jewel in the amazing career of Sachin Tendulkar who has set lofty benchmarks in Test matches as well as One-day Internationals. It was a fairy-tale come true, the real significance of which will be understood in the years and decades to follow.
Recounting the story of the 2011 cricket World Cup, Crowning Glory replays the hot spots – the highlights of this exhilarating tournament, the legends of the World Cup who sparkled in the event, and the new records that were set up. There are splendid photographs that tell a graphic tale, encapsulating another thrilling chapter in India’s journey in the world of cricket.