Novy Kapadia likes our book!

This is a review that I hold particularly dear. To have a legendary sports narrator take the time to read your book is one thing, to know that he’s read it cover to cover and his favourite bits are your favourite bits is the greatest validation of this whole exercise.

“What was till date mostly oral history has been developed through meticulous research and probing interviews into a connoisseur’s delight. The free-flowing narrative makes for easy reading … Creditably, the book is not just documentation of matches, statistics and players but also provides many sociological insights.”

The Telegraph, March 10, 2019
The Telegraph: Novy Kapadia – The rise and rise of the women in blue, 10 March
The Telegraph: Novy Kapadia – The rise and rise of the women in blue, 10 March

The Hindu: What do they know of women’s cricket who only women’s cricket know?

Suresh Menon has been a mentor, a friend, and the first name in the acknowledgments for The Fire Burns Blue. We’ve been lucky to benefit from his decades of experience in sports writing – and his spontaneous gifts of books he uncovers at Bookworm or his own beautiful personal library! His encouragement (not always gentle!) gave us the confidence to write this book. So, to read his opinion at the end of it is humbling.

The marvellous economy, the telling detail and the research implied in that short sentence make for a wonderful introduction to the book. The qualities are sustained through this, the first history of women’s cricket in India. It is, in fact, the finest book written on cricket history in India, men’s or women’s.

The Hindu, Dec 25, 2018

The best writers contextualise their words in society, history and philosophy. This is especially important for sport. CLR James, in his seminal Beyond a Boundary, which uses West Indies cricket as a canvas for social commentary, had tweaked Rudyard Kipling’s “What do they know of England who only England know?” to “What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?” Suresh is one such special writer, whose work has always reflected the bigger picture. And I’m delighted that he thinks our book reflects this same philosophy.

This consciousness of context gives the book the feel of a Renaissance painting – where the background and foreground are both in focus; there is both depth and detail here. It means when the large issues are discussed, they gain significance in the story of the individual, while an individual’s story illustrates a bigger point.

The Hindu, Dec 25, 2018

Read his review in full.

Tribune likes the controversy

As they say, controversy sells. And the Tribune found plenty of juicy anecdotes in ours.

Jokes aside, for the record, we were keen to put any controversy in context of the larger issues in women’s cricket at the time, and we hope to have done that.

The Tribune: Women get their own narrative, Dec 2018
The Tribune: Women get their own narrative, Dec 2018

For a book tracing the history of women’s cricket, The Fire Burns Blue could have easily slipped into the trap of compiling match reports and stats. Thankfully, it doesn’t … the book also touches upon issues such as career vs marriage, gender bias, et al. And all this makes this book a delight to read.

The Tribune, Dec 2018

Review: Hans India

Hans India: Chronicling women's history, Dec 7
Hans India: Chronicling women’s history, Dec 5, 2018

“In a time when women’s cricket is on the rise, the book sheds light not only on those names like Diana Edulji, Anjum Chopra and Mithali Raj, Smriti Mandhana et al, but also lends focus to those who contributed significantly to the game but whose names were lost to the annals of history.”

Hans India, December 5, 2018