Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Two classic sports books by Indra Vikram Singh 'A Maharaja's Turf' and 'Don's Century' available on Amazon



A Maharaja's Turf

by Indra Vikram Singh

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
ISBN 978-81-901668-3-6
Fully Illustrated
Hardcover with jacket 8.75 x 11.5 x 0.6 inches (landscape)
140 Pages
Available at an attractive price on Amazon  https://www.amazon.in/dp/8190166832

The Book : 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.

The Author : Hailing from the erstwhile royal family of Rajpipla, now in the state of Gujarat, India, Indra Vikram Singh is a heritage resort promoter, writer, author, editor and publisher. He is author of 'Test Cricket - End of the Road?' (Rupa & Co., 1992); 'World Cup Cricket' (Rupa & Co., 2002); 'The Little Big Book of World Cup Cricket' (edition I, Sporting Links, 2007); ‘The Little Big Book of World Cup Cricket’, edition II (ISBN 978-81-731422-0-8, Media Eight, 2011); ‘A Maharaja’s Turf’ (ISBN 978-81-901668-3-6, Sporting Links, 2011) on the triumph of his grandfather Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla in the Epsom Derby of England in 1934; 'The Big Book of World Cup Cricket' (ISBN 978-81-901668-4-3, Collector's edition, Sporting Links, 2011); 'Don's Century' (ISBN 978-81-901668-5-0, Sporting Links, 2011) which is a biography of Don Bradman and a panorama of batting from the 1860s to the present times; and 'Crowning Glory' (ISBN 978-81-901668-6-7, Sporting Links, 2011), a special supplement on India's win in the ICC World Cup 2011.   

The author Indra Vikram Singh can be contacted on email singh_iv@hotmail.com. His blogs www.indravikramsingh.blogspot.com and www.singhiv.wordpress.com offer an insight into his work, his family and heritage.

Contents :
Chapter 1 : Chasing a dream
Chapter 2 : Thoroughbred with great potential
Chapter 3 : Captivating prelude
Chapter 4 : Day of glory
Chapter 5 : "Good old Pip"
Chapter 6 : A time to celebrate
Chapter 7 : Media carnival
Chapter 8 : Windsor Lad: gallant and endearing
Chapter 9 : Marcus Marsh: chip off the old block
Chapter 10 : Charlie Smirke: dashing rider with a point to prove
Chapter 11 : An uncanny forecast..... and the lucky number 13
Chapter 12 : Was 'super horse' Colombo unlucky?
Chapter 13 : Experts and bookmakers bite the dust
Chapter 14 : Poignant moments
Chapter 15 : 'I didn't think I would win the Derby - I knew'
Chapter 16 : "My Three Derbys"
Chapter 17 : A life blessed
Chapter 18 : The family's cherished memories
Chapter 19 : Special postal cover to commemorate the platinum jubilee of the Derby triumph
Chapter 20 : Rajpipla State post
Chapter 21 : The Gohil Rajput clan
Epilogue
Bibliography
Colour photo feature / Royal family of Rajpipla in modern times




Don’s Century

by Indra Vikram Singh

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

Published in India by Sporting Links
ISBN 978-81-901668-5-0
Fully illustrated
Paperback French Fold 11 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
188 pages  
Available at an attractive price on Amazon  https://www.amazon.in/dp/8190166859 

The Book : 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 Author : Hailing from the erstwhile royal family of Rajpipla, now in the state of Gujarat, India, Indra Vikram Singh is a heritage resort promoter, writer, author, editor and publisher. He is author of 'Test Cricket - End of the Road?' (Rupa & Co., 1992); 'World Cup Cricket' (Rupa & Co., 2002); 'The Little Big Book of World Cup Cricket' (edition I, Sporting Links, 2007); ‘The Little Big Book of World Cup Cricket’, edition II (ISBN 978-81-731422-0-8, Media Eight, 2011); ‘A Maharaja’s Turf’ (ISBN 978-81-901668-3-6, Sporting Links, 2011) on the triumph of his grandfather Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla in the Epsom Derby of England in 1934; 'The Big Book of World Cup Cricket' (ISBN 978-81-901668-4-3, Collector's edition, Sporting Links, 2011); 'Don's Century' (ISBN 978-81-901668-5-0, Sporting Links, 2011) which is a biography of Don Bradman and a panorama of batting from the 1860s to the present times; and 'Crowning Glory' (ISBN 978-81-901668-6-7, Sporting Links, 2011), a special supplement on India's win in the ICC World Cup 2011.   

The author Indra Vikram Singh can be contacted on email singh_iv@hotmail.com. His blogs www.indravikramsingh.blogspot.com and www.singhiv.wordpress.com offer an insight into his work, his family and heritage.

Contents
Chapter 1 : Born to Conquer
Chapter 2 : The Phenomenon
Chapter 3 : Sinister Plot
Chapter 4 : Truly Immortal
Chapter 5 : At the Helm
Chapter 6 : The Ageing Lion
Chapter 7 : Peerless Rungetter and Other Masters of the Willow
Chapter 8 : Reclusive and Focussed
Chapter 9 : The Game's Ultimate Authority
Chapter 10 : Travails Off the Field
Chapter 11 : End of a Glorious Innings
Career Record
Bibliography
Index

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The unparalleled saga of the three Ws of West Indies cricket. Excerpt from Indra Vikram Singh’s book ‘Don’s Century’


There is no parallel in world cricket to the saga of the four Ws – Worrell, Weekes and Walcott of the West Indies. These great Barbados batsmen were born, remarkably, within a radius of three miles in a span of 18 months. They made their Test debut in the same series against England in 1947-48, which the West Indies won 2-0, and all three were knighted at various stages.

Frank Worrell was a calm, stylish strokeplayer, left-arm medium-pace swing bowler, and first coloured captain of the West Indies, rated among the great leaders, a true statesman of the game. Of his highest Test score of 261 against England at Trent Bridge in 1950, 239 runs were scored in a day. England were handed a 3-1 drubbing on home turf. Indeed Worrell sculpted six of his nine Test hundreds off the English bowlers in five different series at home and away, once carrying his bat for an unbeaten 191.

Worrrell became the only batsman in first-class cricket to be associated in two partnerships of 500 or more, both unbroken for the fourth wicket representing Barbados against Trinidad. In 1943-44, at 19 years the youngest to score a triple century, an unbeaten 308, he put on 502 with John Goddard. Two seasons later, he raised 574 with Clyde Walcott. Worrell was the odd man out among the three Ws in missing out on a Test average of 50. He came within touching distance, finishing at 49.48 per innings for his 3860 runs in 51 Tests.

The 1960-61 series in Australia, when Worrell took over the captaincy, was one of the most thrilling in history, not just for the first tied Test at Brisbane, but also for the competitiveness and wonderful spirit in which it was played. The West Indies lost 1-2, but were accorded a memorable farewell in an open motorcade. From here on, all series between Australia and the West Indies came to be played for the Frank Worrell Trophy. In 1963 his team gave a 3-1 thrashing to England, finally ending the hegemony of the two founder members of the Imperial Cricket Conference. Worrell’s untimely death in 1967, just after a memorable post-retirement tour to India, some of which comprised delightful moments in the commentary box, came as a rude shock to cricket lovers all over the world.

The diminutive Everton Weekes was a scintillating strokeplayer, quick on his feet and particularly strong on the off-side. He scored hundreds in five consecutive Test innings, beginning with the fourth and final match of his first series, as he hit up 141 against England at Kingston in 1947-48. Then during the tour to India in 1948-49, Weekes scored 128 at Delhi, 194 at Bombay, and a century in each innings - 162 and 101 - at Calcutta. In his next outing at Madras, he was run out for 90, the West Indies winning the only Test that produced a result in the series. For good measure, Weekes scored 56 and 48 in the final Test, back at the Brabourne Stadium. He set the pattern as the West Indies won the toss in all five matches and batted first on easy-paced wickets. The bulk of the bowling was done by the spin twins, left-armer Vinoo Mankad and off-spin exponent Ghulam Ahmed, with one medium-pacer of some quality being Dattu Phadkar. It was, nevertheless, a triumph of concentration, patience and brilliant strokeplay, as Weekes logged up 779 runs in the series at an average of 111.28.       

When it was the turn of the Indians to make a return tour of the Caribbean islands four years later, Weekes was just as severe on their hapless bowlers. By now leg-spinner Subhash Gupte had joined Mankad. Again the West Indies triumphed 1-0, with the lone win coming at Bridgetown. Weekes scored 207 at Port of Spain, 47 and 15 in the relatively low-scoring game at Bridgetown, 161 and 55 not out again at Port of Spain, 86 at Georgetown, and 109 and 36 at Kingston. That was a total of 716 runs at 102.28 per innings.

Weekes scored three centuries in the 1955-56 series in New Zealand. But, like Neil Harvey, he did not replicate such successes when confronted by the stronger attack of England, as also Australia, never scoring more than one century in any series against them. On his first tour of England in 1950, though, in first-class matches Weekes scored a triple century and four double centuries. Only Bradman had six scores of 200 or more on an English tour two decades earlier. In 48 Tests Weekes scored 4455 runs at an average of 58.61, notching up 15 hundreds.

Big and strong, Clyde Walcott was a savage hitter, renowned for his back-foot driving. C.L.R. James noted in his Beyond a Boundary: “For defence and power in putting away the length ball this is one of the greatest of all batsmen. Only Bradman can be mentioned in the same breath for commanding hooking of fast bowlers.” Like Weekes, he revelled on the Indian tour of 1948-49, cracking 452 runs at an average of 75.33. His greatest run, however, was when Australia came calling in 1954-55. Walcott hit a century in each innings of not one, but two Tests - 126 and 110 at Port of Spain, and 155 and 110 at Kingston. No one else has achieved this feat in the same series. Before that he had scored 108 in another Test at Kingston. Not even Bradman had managed five hundreds in the same rubber. Walcott’s tally in that series was 827 at 82.70 per innings. This capped his consistent showing at home; during the previous two seasons he was a prolific scorer against England and India.

Along with Weekes, he feasted on the Indian bowling. Not to be left out, Worrell finally joined the party with his 237 at Kingston in 1952-53. Walcott eventually finished with 3798 runs at an average of 56.68 in 44 Tests, matching Weekes’ 15 tons, and his wicketkeeping abilities were a bonus. One of the reasons why he retired in 1959 at the age of thirty-three was that, as the celebrated C.L.R. James noted in his Beyond a Boundary, he was frustrated at the continued appointment of only a white man as captain of the West Indies. So when his great mate Frank Worrell eventually led the West Indies shortly thereafter, the big hitter would have been a satisfied, if not totally contented, man. That feeling would have grown when Walcott himself went on to become president of the West Indies Cricket Board and chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC).        

Overall, Worrell stood up to England, the best side for much of the 1950s before his own team turned the tables; Weekes was the scourge of India; and Walcott was awesome on home turf. Put together, they appeared in 143 Tests for the West Indies and amassed 12,113 runs at an average of 54.80, notching up 39 hundreds. For those times when much less Test cricket was played than at present, it was a phenomenal performance. Few chapters in the game are as romantic and colourful. It was the three inimitable Ws, aided by the spin twins Sonny Ramadhin and Alf Valentine who put Caribbean cricket on the high road to the summit that later outfits led by Gary Sobers, Clive Lloyd and Vivian Richards scaled in the next three decades. George Headley was, of course, the pioneer, and the enormously talented Learie Constantine with his fellow speedster Manny Martindale had shown early glimpses of the fearsome pace battery that was to follow. But it was Worrell, Weekes and Walcott who set the trend for top-class West Indies line-ups of succeeding generations - Hunte, Kanhai, Butcher, Sobers and Nurse; Lloyd, Rowe and Kallicharran; Greenidge, Haynes and Richards; Richardson, Lara and Chanderpaul to carry forward the tradition. The Ws propelled West Indies cricket towards glory, and that is their true contribution.

(Author Indra Vikram Singh can be contacted on email singh_iv@hotmail.com).

Don’s Century
Published in India by Sporting Links
ISBN 978-81-901668-5-0
Fully illustrated
Paperback French Fold 11 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
188 pages  
Available at an attractive price on Amazon:  https://www.amazon.in/dp/8190166859

Monday, September 17, 2018

Crowning Glory: Special supplement on India’s win in the ICC World Cup 2011


Crowning Glory

by Indra Vikram Singh

Special supplement on
India’s win in the ICC World Cup 2011

Published by Sporting Links
ISBN 978-81-901668-6-7
Fully illustrated
Paperback 11 x 8.5 x 0.1 inches
44 Pages
Available at an attractive price on Amazon  https://www.amazon.in/dp/8190166867

The Book : 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.

The Author : Hailing from the erstwhile royal family of Rajpipla, now in the state of Gujarat, India, Indra Vikram Singh is a heritage resort promoter, writer, author, editor and publisher. He is author of 'Test Cricket - End of the Road?' (Rupa & Co., 1992); 'World Cup Cricket' (Rupa & Co., 2002); 'The Little Big Book of World Cup Cricket' (edition I, Sporting Links, 2007); ‘The Little Big Book of World Cup Cricket’, edition II (ISBN 978-81-731422-0-8, Media Eight, 2011); ‘A Maharaja’s Turf’ (ISBN 978-81-901668-3-6, Sporting Links, 2011) on the triumph of his grandfather Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla in the Epsom Derby of England in 1934; 'The Big Book of World Cup Cricket' (ISBN 978-81-901668-4-3, Collector's edition, Sporting Links, 2011); 'Don's Century' (ISBN 978-81-901668-5-0, Sporting Links, 2011) which is a biography of Don Bradman and a panorama of batting from the 1860s to the present times; and 'Crowning Glory' (ISBN 978-81-901668-6-7, Sporting Links, 2011), a special supplement on India's win in the ICC World Cup 2011.

The author Indra Vikram Singh can be contacted on email singh_iv@hotmail.com. His blogs www.indravikramsingh.blogspot.com and www.singhiv.wordpress.com offer an insight into his work, his family and heritage.

Contents
Part 1 : ICC World Cup 2011
Part 2 : Stars of the 2011 World Cup
Part 3 : The Curtain Raiser
Part 4 : Hot Spots
Part 5 : Legends
Part 6 : Records set up in the 2011 World Cup
Part 7 : Other statistical landmarks achieved in the 2011 World Cup
Part 8 : Roll of Honour 1975-2011

Friday, September 14, 2018

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


Don’s Century

by Indra Vikram Singh

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

Published in India by Sporting Links
ISBN 978-81-901668-5-0
Fully illustrated
Paperback French Fold 11 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches
188 pages  
Available at an attractive price on Amazon  https://www.amazon.in/dp/8190166859 

The Book : 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 Author : Hailing from the erstwhile royal family of Rajpipla, now in the state of Gujarat, India, Indra Vikram Singh is a heritage resort promoter, writer, author, editor and publisher. He is author of 'Test Cricket - End of the Road?' (Rupa & Co., 1992); 'World Cup Cricket' (Rupa & Co., 2002); 'The Little Big Book of World Cup Cricket' (edition I, Sporting Links, 2007); ‘The Little Big Book of World Cup Cricket’, edition II (ISBN 978-81-731422-0-8, Media Eight, 2011); ‘A Maharaja’s Turf’ (ISBN 978-81-901668-3-6, Sporting Links, 2011) on the triumph of his grandfather Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla in the Epsom Derby of England in 1934; 'The Big Book of World Cup Cricket' (ISBN 978-81-901668-4-3, Collector's edition, Sporting Links, 2011); 'Don's Century' (ISBN 978-81-901668-5-0, Sporting Links, 2011) which is a biography of Don Bradman and a panorama of batting from the 1860s to the present times; and 'Crowning Glory' (ISBN 978-81-901668-6-7, Sporting Links, 2011), a special supplement on India's win in the ICC World Cup 2011.   

The author Indra Vikram Singh can be contacted on email singh_iv@hotmail.com. His blogs www.indravikramsingh.blogspot.com and www.singhiv.wordpress.com offer an insight into his work, his family and heritage.

Contents
Chapter 1 : Born to Conquer
Chapter 2 : The Phenomenon
Chapter 3 : Sinister Plot
Chapter 4 : Truly Immortal
Chapter 5 : At the Helm
Chapter 6 : The Ageing Lion
Chapter 7 : Peerless Rungetter and Other Masters of the Willow
Chapter 8 : Reclusive and Focussed
Chapter 9 : The Game's Ultimate Authority
Chapter 10 : Travails Off the Field
Chapter 11 : End of a Glorious Innings
Career Record
Bibliography
Index

The Big Book of World Cup Cricket: A definitive coffee-table collector’s edition on the ICC World Cups 1975 to 2011


The Big Book of World Cup Cricket

by Indra Vikram Singh

A definitive coffee-table collector’s edition
on the ICC World Cups 1975 to 2011

Published in India by Sporting Links
ISBN 978-81-901668-4-3
Fully illustrated
Hardcover with jacket 11.5 x 8.75 x 1 inches
544 pages
Available on Amazon at an attractive price  https://www.amazon.in/dp/8190166840

The Book : 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.

A special 44-page fully-illustrated colour supplement Crowning Glory (ISBN 978-81-901668-6-7, Sporting Links, 2011) published at the conclusion of the ICC World Cup 2011, bringing forth the highlights and the stars of the tournament, and updated records is available complimentary with The Big Book of World Cup Cricket.

The Author : Hailing from the erstwhile royal family of Rajpipla, now in the state of Gujarat, India, Indra Vikram Singh is a heritage resort promoter, writer, author, editor and publisher. He is author of 'Test Cricket - End of the Road?' (Rupa & Co., 1992); 'World Cup Cricket' (Rupa & Co., 2002); 'The Little Big Book of World Cup Cricket' (edition I, Sporting Links, 2007); ‘The Little Big Book of World Cup Cricket’, edition II (ISBN 978-81-731422-0-8, Media Eight, 2011); ‘A Maharaja’s Turf’ (ISBN 978-81-901668-3-6, Sporting Links, 2011) on the triumph of his grandfather Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla in the Epsom Derby of England in 1934; 'The Big Book of World Cup Cricket' (ISBN 978-81-901668-4-3, Collector's edition, Sporting Links, 2011); 'Don's Century' (ISBN 978-81-901668-5-0, Sporting Links, 2011) which is a biography of Don Bradman and a panorama of batting from the 1860s to the present times; and 'Crowning Glory' (ISBN 978-81-901668-6-7, Sporting Links, 2011), a special supplement on India's win in the ICC World Cup 2011.   

The author Indra Vikram Singh can be contacted on email singh_iv@hotmail.com. His blogs www.indravikramsingh.blogspot.com and www.singhiv.wordpress.com offer an insight into his work, his family and heritage.

Contents
Letter from Sir Donald Bradman
Acknowledgements
Preface
Section 1 : The Cricket World Cup: A Great Spectacle
Section 2 : Classic Matches
Section 3 : Memorable Performances
Section 4 : Hall of Fame
Section 5 : Statistics
Section 6 : Records
Section 7 : Scorecards
Section 8 : Averages
Section 9 : Tailenders

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A Maharaja's Turf: Collector’s edition on the triumph of Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla in the Epsom Derby of England in 1934



A Maharaja's Turf

by Indra Vikram Singh

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
ISBN 978-81-901668-3-6
Fully Illustrated
Hardcover with jacket 8.75 x 11.5 x 0.6 inches (landscape)
140 Pages
Available on Amazon at an attractive price  https://www.amazon.in/dp/8190166832

The Book : 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.

The Author : Hailing from the erstwhile royal family of Rajpipla, now in the state of Gujarat, India, Indra Vikram Singh is a heritage resort promoter, writer, author, editor and publisher. He is author of 'Test Cricket - End of the Road?' (Rupa & Co., 1992); 'World Cup Cricket' (Rupa & Co., 2002); 'The Little Big Book of World Cup Cricket' (edition I, Sporting Links, 2007); ‘The Little Big Book of World Cup Cricket’, edition II (ISBN 978-81-731422-0-8, Media Eight, 2011); ‘A Maharaja’s Turf’ (ISBN 978-81-901668-3-6, Sporting Links, 2011) on the triumph of his grandfather Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla in the Epsom Derby of England in 1934; 'The Big Book of World Cup Cricket' (ISBN 978-81-901668-4-3, Collector's edition, Sporting Links, 2011); 'Don's Century' (ISBN 978-81-901668-5-0, Sporting Links, 2011) which is a biography of Don Bradman and a panorama of batting from the 1860s to the present times; and 'Crowning Glory' (ISBN 978-81-901668-6-7, Sporting Links, 2011), a special supplement on India's win in the ICC World Cup 2011.   

The author Indra Vikram Singh can be contacted on email singh_iv@hotmail.com. His blogs www.indravikramsingh.blogspot.com and www.singhiv.wordpress.com offer an insight into his work, his family and heritage.

Contents :
Chapter 1 : Chasing a dream
Chapter 2 : Thoroughbred with great potential
Chapter 3 : Captivating prelude
Chapter 4 : Day of glory
Chapter 5 : "Good old Pip"
Chapter 6 : A time to celebrate
Chapter 7 : Media carnival
Chapter 8 : Windsor Lad: gallant and endearing
Chapter 9 : Marcus Marsh: chip off the old block
Chapter 10 : Charlie Smirke: dashing rider with a point to prove
Chapter 11 : An uncanny forecast..... and the lucky number 13
Chapter 12 : Was 'super horse' Colombo unlucky?
Chapter 13 : Experts and bookmakers bite the dust
Chapter 14 : Poignant moments
Chapter 15 : 'I didn't think I would win the Derby - I knew'
Chapter 16 : "My Three Derbys"
Chapter 17 : A life blessed
Chapter 18 : The family's cherished memories
Chapter 19 : Special postal cover to commemorate the platinum jubilee of the Derby triumph
Chapter 20 : Rajpipla State post
Chapter 21 : The Gohil Rajput clan
Epilogue
Bibliography
Colour photo feature / Royal family of Rajpipla in modern times