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War Minus the Shooting, talks about the 1996 Cricket World Cup and was published in 1998.
Combining personal reflection and social observation, this work paints a complex portrait of a sub-continent in ferment, set against the backdrop of the 1996 cricket World Cup, the most extravagant and controversial event in the long history of the game. The book delves into the dilemmas that dog modern cricket – ball-tampering, biased umpires, media moguls and sponsors, race and national identity, gambling syndicates, and much more.
In this conversation that took place in December 2021 during the Bangalore Literature Festival at Bangalore international Centre, Siddhartha Vaidyanathan and Sharda Ugra discuss Mike Marquesee and the revival of the book as the event it covers turned 25.
Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is a writer and editor based in Seattle.
His first novel, What’s Wrong With You, Karthik?, was published by Picador India. It was shortlisted for the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing in 2018. It was longlisted for the Atta Galatta-Bangalore Literature Festival Prize and the TATA Literature Live! First Book Award in 2020.
He has worked as a reporter and editor for ESPNcricinfo and Wall Street Journal and was part of the team that launched ESPN’s digital magazine – The Cricket Monthly. Siddhartha has contributed articles to Guardian, Forbes, AOL, The Hindu, Indian Express, India Today, Mumbai Mirror, The Daily Telegraph, Wisden and Yahoo India.
As an academic editor, he helps university professors enhance and fine-tune their research papers, books, websites, and teaching materials.
Siddhartha spends a lot of his free time watching cricket. He hosts the 81allout cricket podcast and occasionally writes for the 81allout website. He is one of the founders of 81allout Publishing, which is a passion project to revive classic works of cricket literature.
Sharda Ugra spent more than three decades in sports journalism, working with Mumbai tabloid Mid-Day, national daily The Hindu, India Today magazine and ESPNcricinfo and ESPN India.
During this time, she has written and spoken about issues around Indian sport at home and abroad in popular and academic publications.
She worked with former New Zealand captain John Wright on John Wright’s Indian Summers, his memoirs of his years coaching India and with Yuvraj Singh on The Test of My Life, an account of his diagnosis and recovery from cancer. She was a fellow of the Australia India Institute, University of Melbourne in 2013. Having just left the formal workforce, she believes she is just getting started.