Vijender Singh, the pin-up boy of Indian boxing, made his Bollywood debut on Friday, starring in a thriller about four youngsters who get into trouble with the police.
It’s just after sunrise on a foggy winter morning in north India. Most people are snuggled up in quilts, but a group of teenagers with hockey sticks is out on the field. The ragtag bunch chasing a ball in Khera Garhi village, about 20 kilometres from central Delhi, shares a dream — to play in India’s field hockey team.
“The Great Tamasha” is a book about cricket, but it is also a tale about the rapid rise of modern India and the corruption that plagues it. A series of scandals in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the glitzy Twenty20 tournament run by the country’s cricket board, got James Astill hooked to the game in India. What followed was the 40-year-old journalist’s first book – an account of India’s rich cricketing tradition, politics, religion and the emergence of the cash-rich IPL.
The outrage has simmered down, cricket has cast its usual mammoth shadow and there are burning, more important, social issues to deal with.
By Abhishek Takle
I knew India would fall in love with Formula One when I witnessed Lewis Hamilton do a demo drive in Bangalore last month in front of 40,000 massively excited fans thrilled by the assault on their senses . Our first grand prix at Noida last weekend only proved me right. The world’s finest drivers were given a taste of the adulation usually only handed out to Indian cricketers on home soil.
Plagued by endless corruption accusations, vast overspending claims and huge construction delays, you would be forgiven for thinking none of Delhi’s inhabitants were overjoyed about the city’s upcoming Commonwealth Games.