'You watch, drifting, surrounded by the thing. It's like living underwater.'
Men in White describes the experience of living with cricket in a country consumed by the game. Mukul Kesavan is keen on cricket in a non-playing way. With a top score of 14 in neighbourhood cricket and a lively distaste for fast bowling, his credentials for writing about the game are founded on the assumption that distance brings perspective.
The book recalls the 'Pandara Park' cricket of Kesavan's childhood, examines the current health of Test cricket, the problem of chucking, the growing influence of technology on the game and, as he puts it, the wickedness of the ICC. In-between, he profiles his cricketing heroes and denounces modern cricket's villains.
First published in 2007, this updated edition includes a profile of M.S. Dhoni, 'India's first adult captain since Pataudi', a celebration of the freakishly talented Muttiah Muralitharan and a chronicle of the 'Symonds Affair' which revealed more about the racism of the Indian fan than we wanted to acknowledge.
Written with a novelist's talent for making things vivid and a fan's unwinking commitment to his team, Men in White is an indispensable book for cricket lovers everywhere.