Book Cricket, age unknown, R.I.P

Written in


Dear Reader, 

For some reason, the IPL T20 tournament reminded me of something I used to be passionate about many years ago. 

A decade ago, a game died, and there was sadly nobody to write a eulogy. This is a humble attempt to remember that great game, its classy origins and the treacherous road to its eventual demise.

The game was called Book Cricket. Those of you who are young (in other words, those of you who spell What as Wat  and Anyways as NEwez) may not be aware that such a game existed. But it did, and it held its own against fierce rivals such as Hand Cricket, French Cricket and the rather bowler-friendly One-bounce-out Cricket. 

The unique advantage Book Cricket had was its ability to fill up those dreadfully boring periods of time all of us are forced to waste in school classrooms, unlike the other games which required outdoor space and time. The classic version of this game a involved large, voluminous book (hereinafter referred to as The Book) being randomly opened and the last digit of the page number being scrutinized like Dickie Bird pondering over a leg-before decision. 2, 4 and 6 counted as they were, and 8 counted as 1 run. A page number ending in 0 was of course out. Games were nerve wracking as tomes were jerked open with adrenaline fuelled excitement with complex strategic manoeuvres being played out between opponents. 

There were the Openers (the ones who opened The Book first) and the Middle-Order (players who preferred opening The Book right down the middle, as if it had magical powers that kept the dreaded zero-ending page numbers away) and the annoying Accumulators (who would fold certain pages that end in a 6 and keep opening that very page till somebody realized that something was rotten in the state of CBSE pass mark). Games lasted 2 innings and the final innings was usually a spine tingling affair, and often some idiot would get over-excited and attract the attention of the teacher who was busy trying to force feed us “4 key factors that resulted in World War 1“. 

There were many choices for The Book, but my personal favourite was Wren and Martin. But with increased teacher vigilance, exam pressures and smaller books, the longer version of Book Cricket started to wane in popularity. Time suddenly became money and all that sort of thing, and Book Cricket had to evolve the OMI format – The One Minute International. Each team had 30 openings of The Book, and the highest scorer won. It had little of the finesse of the longer version with careful, well-thought out strategies being thrown to the dogs and unbridled aggression becoming more and more popular. The Book started taking a good amount of wear and tear as the slam-bang version of the game introduced a new brand of Openers, called Pinch-Tearers, who had the nasty habit of unleashing a high pressure separation of pages using their thumbs and index fingers in rapid succession.

But the advent of the computer and the internet dealt another blow to this game. Who wanted to be flipping pages when one could use the special six-hit button on Codemasters’ Brian Lara Cricket? The BCCI (Book Cricketers Council of India) tried desperate measures. They shorted the game even more. 5 page flips per team, and it was even branded as F5. It even encouraged the use of magazines such as Stardust and Filmfare as The Book, so that our players could additionally have the pleasure of staring at Kimi Katkar and Pooja Bedi when they opened a page. 

But the final death knell was sounded when companies was invited to advertise in The Book. Players now had to look at advertisements on the pages they opened. Page numbers started carrying subliminal brand messages, like 24 nutrients in Complan, 300 percent purity in Kalyani Covering Gold etc. The game became secondary, as players spent more and more time discussing the finer aspects of Kimi Katkar’s anatomy and becoming consumerist zombies staring at brand messages all day. 

The game then died. 

ps: I wrote this for the New Indian Express Saturday supplement called Zeitgeist this week. 

98 responses to “Book Cricket, age unknown, R.I.P”

  1. Marc Avatar

    Deserves to be in the paper! Book cricket was funny and I know about hand cricket. What is French cricket though?
    Ashok: Since the French are generally lazy, it involved the batsman passing the bat from one hand to another in a circular path around himself

  2. dingchak Avatar

    very true…Jalsaman-how about a lament for that other glorious pastime- pocket billiards…? I think that game died the day some smartass decided to try boric powder for smoother play.

    In my time at the DAVHSS-boy swing, for Book C, we used either of the agnihotra or the purusha suktam M.I texts-they was compact and concise, and they gave us the chance to run up a small spiritual score even as our heathen kundis racked up 4 figure totals in one socialstudies period.

    Also is there an investigation on the lost art coconut oil daguerreotypes forthcoming on these Jalpapages? The careful screening of class mates in the morning to identify the vennai with the oiliest mop, hunting for the nataraj or the white camlin rubber(yes, it will always be rubber for us) with the widest surface, rummaging through geography and history texts for the most intricate drawing(ashoka chakras, khajuraho danseuses, and bal gangadhar tilak’s mug were the best ones ncert had in my time) and the hard work of de-anointing the poor sop’s head with the rubber(if you were kind you would respect his vagudu)-creating and immediately destroying many giga volts of electric charge, carefully placing it on the correct spot on the page, folding it putting it under the leg of your desk, and asking the fattest kid in the class to plant his ass on it (while you continued pummeling his thighs for maximum impression)… and 5 minutes later- voila – an image that you could treasure for ever, in one of the compartments of your new kasio 5 tone pencil box.

  3. Pooh! Avatar

    Oh my I remember Book Cricket really well. The best use of history textbooks! Thanks for bringing back memories

  4. foo Avatar

    How can I forget book cricket. Once in Class XII CBSE English, we had to “write a business letter to a sports equipment supplier asking for supplies for your school sports tournament”. I dutifully asked Messrs Gilli, Danda and Co. for (among other things) 20 copies of the NCERT English text, 20 stump cameras and 20 Sai Baba currency notes for use as prize money. I was voted the class clown.

  5. foo Avatar

    BTW, in case it wasn’t clear, the NCERT English text was for the School Book Cricket Tournament.

  6. dingchak Avatar

    Foo-you were lucky to get off so easily-in today’s intolerant climate you mates would have burnt your effigy, overturned a few bus shaped pencil boxes, for invoking the baba’sName in vain.

  7. pri Avatar

    thank you for that wonderful flashback. *sniif* if it wasn’t for book cricket, krackjack and ‘what teacher am i drawing today?’ i would have never made it through middle school and onto funner more adult classroom games like ‘omg is she wearing a bra or a banyan?’ and ‘did you hear? she’s dating some boy in 2nd PU?’ fun times.

  8. pinastro Avatar

    Wonderful …..Reminded me of the mini triangular tournaments we used to have during the C.C.A (Co-Curricular Activities) on Thursdays (7 th and 8th period).

    In my school , we used to predict the results of the matches of 1996 world cup using THE BOOK.

    Also we used to have some superstitions on the books to be used …similar to the ones some cricketers have about the Bat, Helmet, underwear,Kerchief etc

    Really a nice blog ….

    “..often some idiot would get over-excited and attract the attention of the teacher who was busy trying to force feed us “4 key factors that resulted in World War 1“ …”


    “One Minute International”

    was ultimate…. pure blogging ……

  9. Adithya Avatar

    Semma sarcasm, Lol really apt one…

  10. Jaya Avatar

    that really brought back memories….another wonderful thing about book cricket is that there need not be a seperate boy/girl team 😀
    and yeah one-bounce-out cricket….i remember my brother playing that and going crazy screaming for each wicket

  11. prats Avatar

    That was a great flash back…when I seem my sons playign hand cricket and some vague named ones on their hands too…I try telling them about this book cricket….
    We used to spend the time on the school bus, with carefully balanced bags, lunch bags, and the huge book…and yes! of course the choice of book for us was the ‘Wren&Martin’ too. Strange how that book has educated us in so many ways than just one. 🙂

  12. Giridhar Avatar

    haha…book cricket… the game is still alive…believe me…. taught and played with my flat kids (9-12yrs) a couple of weeks ago…and i lost a few games…u know….KT,,,…

  13. The Pseudonym Avatar

    We played Round Tennis(any number of players can play). Book cricket was a favourite in class. Wren and Martin is a book I dread even today. Saw it a few weeks back in Landmark. Now there are color pages with cartoons. They are probably trying to make it interesting…

  14. krishashok Avatar

    Honoured to have the convenor of the PT Teachers PJ Summit comment here 🙂 Ah yes, those annoying musical pencil boxes. And Hero pens with Chinese characters engraved on them. And different numbers, giving the owner the feeling that he owned some sort of Samurai sword, a very personalized weapon of sorts. After all, school did teach us that the pen is mightier than the sword, although removing the space between the first 2 words of the quote makes it invalid.
    Round Tennis was a brilliant game. We played round tennis in corridoors, in basketball courts and even table tennis tables. We also played Round Squash, where the hand was used to smash a tennis (cosco cricket) ball against a wall in sequence.
    Yes. Wren & Martin was reliable in terms of variety. Other books seemed to eventually get stuck on certain pages and that killed the suspense. In my case, the page on “Gerunds” was a killer, page 280 or something.

  15. BR Avatar

    Great metaphor! You are one seriously clever blogger.

    Re: book cricket: I am sure that anyone that’s spent any time in a boarding school in India is grateful to the inventors of the game. It’s one of very few games that can be played under the pretense of studying during the mandatory study hour! What we used to do was have a book on the desk, and use a smaller book, strategically placed on our laps to play Book Cricket without our proctor knowing. We even had a World Cup for Class VIII, with everyone in the class participating, and I went all the way to the quarter finals! Ah, the good times!

  16. ~nm Avatar

    Ohh yes!! I do remember this game! It used to be so much fun!! Good that you blogged about it!

  17. sandsekh Avatar

    charmin…. as always..

    “becoming consumerist zombies” – yep yep

  18. Diviya Avatar

    Dead it ain’t. My brother plays it even now (age 22) when he’s sitting alone at home and there’s no cricket on TV. Though that happens rarely in the days of IPL. I’m rushing off to inform him that he’s the last of the Book Cricketers!!

  19. balaji Avatar

    Very nostalgic…….

  20. Arjun N Bharadwaj Avatar

    😀 Sir, I chanced upon your blog, when I was arbitrarily browsing. I have become your fan… 🙂

  21. Srivathsan Avatar

    book cricket was the only relief in those idiotic history and English classes..

    wonder whether schools kids these days play “kings” – the ultimate lunch break game

  22. Nandita Avatar

    Ah book cricket, you brought back some fond memories and Wren and Martin was a favourite as that was the fattest book in school times 🙂 It was my dad who taught me this game during the summer vacations!

  23. Karthik Avatar

    Awesome blog, brings back memories of the history book from middle school. Ancient India, Medieval India and the like. Pure knowledge in every page (except the damned pages with the 0). We spent hours together playing the purest form of the game. Wonder what the new generation learns in todays schools ??? 🙂

  24. Madhavan Avatar

    I have fond memories of making India and Pakistan play test matches on my high school books –when the two nations did not play each other (now we are overdoing it!)
    I also inducted Pandurang Salgaonkar into the Indian team (because Kapil Dev had not arrived then) and if not mistaken, wanted Rajinder Goel or Padmakar Shivalkar in the team (because Bedi was monopolising all the left arm glory). Point being that book cricket helps you play your fantasies–low-cost alternative to cyber versions:)

  25. kavitha Avatar

    oh that was a fun game…my older bro taught me that ! 🙂

  26. narendra shenoy Avatar

    Perhaps we could replace IPL with book cricket. Both seem to require the same level of cricketing skill, while book cricket would make commentary more interesting definitely more educational.

    ” Glorious shot, for six runs and an adverbial participle. Eighteen more required from fourteen deliveries and two subsidiary clauses.”

  27. guruprasad Avatar

    excellent krish…and all thos forgotten games like kings, seven stones, monkey, catch …all used to be played in classrooms…one bounce cricket was also uite easier to play in classroom breaks, while book cricket – wins hands down…we used to have “raghu vamsam” and a “bagavad gita” in our sanskrit class, and they were classic pitches like MAC and Eden Garden. The library used to have encyclopaedia which will be busily used by some section of our class…it is the Lords. We used to have even bowlers in book cricket…for every six balls or page-flipping, the captain of fielding team would pass the book to a bowler…in one of the world cup finals between india and westindies, all the 11 players from india bowled to windies…but we couldnt get viv richards out at all…he scored 798 runs, and windies scored 1002 in all…india got out for a mere 96!

  28. Nikhil Narayanan Avatar

    I was good at it!
    This was better than the tic-tac-toe and the name-place-thing-animal that we used to play(other than book cricket).
    Since it was very much associated with books, that too text books, teachers would not get it easily.
    Jus that he/she could get whispers of 4,6, out etc in the class and sounds of frantic changing of pages.



  29. 30in2005 Avatar

    Book cricket is very much alive and kicking – at leaste here in London – where my other (better?) half is duly playing entire tournaments in BC with all my books. And ruining the spines, might I add!

  30. gireesh Avatar


    There was one another great game of the masses in school,the PEN fight.No,not the ones girls do for SRK or Surya,but the only use we boys had for Reynolds Pen.

    @Shenoys comment was very good too..educational cricket…Wouldnt that make the game in anything related to academics…has to boring right?? 😛

  31. […] 6, 2008 · No Comments This blog wants to just add on to this amazing blog by Ashok.As he says the IPL reminds the generation that was in shcool before the period when […]

  32. thenga chutney Avatar

    Ah, book cricket! Brings back memories, PSBB taught me the most wonderful things 🙂

  33. Guru Avatar

    We still play it .. We revived this last semester to pass time in a particularly boring lab subject. And we’ve tried a few variations too – 10 balls max runs, one on one ( with each one allowed 3 ‘outs’), best of 3,5,7 depending on time..

    To add spice we even call out bowlers, and sometimes calling out a particular name will always get us wickets.. So he became the ‘strike bowler’ and will be used to break high scores..

    We don’t however convert ‘8’ to 1 run .. This makes it possible for us to have ‘high scoring matches’.

    Next write a post on ‘pen game’ pls ..


  34. Priya Avatar

    book cricket? you mean you didn’t listen to the teacher in class?!!! :-O

    me good girl. me got centums n all. no idea what book cricket means! but I do remember the guys in the last bench suddenly getting loud and turning pages at random..I used to wonder what that was all about.. danks for the info 🙂

  35. pinastro Avatar

    @gireesh ….Yeah the Pen fight sometimes used to take great stakes…We used to make the Pen heavy by putting steel balls(from the cycle).

    It was really best days …I last played it during my college days..

    This discussion is really good….may be we should have a separate website …rules for the games played at school to be written down… . who knows any one of these games may take the GIGANTIC shape as that of IPL today…

  36. Arun Sundar Avatar

    Book cricket was indeed amazing! Every kid’s middle-school experience!

    Name-Place-Animals-Things -> wow! what a game that was!!

    Lol – you are intelligent dude!

  37. maxdavinci Avatar

    plenty of ‘book-cricket’ and ‘pen game’ hours led to stand-up-on-the-bench hours at bhavans!

    awesome memories

  38. pinastro Avatar

    Also read the other forms of Book cricket in the below blog …..the one in which we can know how the batsman was out

  39. peevee Avatar

    you forgot one-pitch-one-hand-cricket! batsman is considered out only if the fielder catches with one-hand for the one-pitch catches… the zero-pitch catches could be caught with both hands ofcourse! 😀

  40. sumathi Avatar

    Uff! I loved this post! Book cricket used to be the most favourite game in geography class, where our teacher called “Sleeping Beauty” would frequently fall asleep in the middle of teaching (we were told later it was because of some medication that she took, but insensitive kids that we were – no one cared). Well, it used to be the most popular game until those crazy WWF trading cards came along (forget what they’re called) – could never figure out why they were so fascinating to the rest. :/

  41. Kaddu Avatar

    Ha ha! Never realized “Book Cricket” existed outside the walls of my school! 😀

    Brought back some really fun memories! Actually… most childhood memories ARE *fun* memories!

    Anyways, I have subscribed to your blog on Google Reader for the past several months now… and I must confess, I really enjoy reading it! Although it really is too much of an effort to post a comment on someone’s blog once you get addicted to the GR! 😀

    Keep blogging though! Cheers!

  42. Hari Avatar

    aaghaaa… Ungaloda pona T20 IPL postla naan idha pathi edarthama comment adichaen.. Neenga adha oru article a maathiteengale.. Bale Pandya Bale….
    Of course, even now, when am extremely bored, I play it with my journals 😦
    And there is this another sport called ‘Pen Game’ more like the official carom cum bowling cum wrestling type of game which I used to play in classes with my bench mates. Intervals – it’s all war….. The tip for choosing the best pen, summa namma thalaivar maari sutthikittae irukanum, weighta irukanum and shouldn’t have any refill in it – u know why…. 😀

  43. Priya Avatar

    WOW! You nailed the rules! I am amazed that you could recount all of them. We preferred the social studies text book or the kutti dictionaries :)) The sudden uproar that grabbed the teacher’s attentions was always because someone would try to quickly flip to another page before the rest of the players noticed the ‘0’. And ofcourse, name-place-animal thing, pen fight and tic-tac-toe did fill the gaps.
    You have a wonderful blog here.

  44. Mahesh Ramamurthy Avatar
    Mahesh Ramamurthy

    Reminds me of my days at Vivekananda College.

    Never was a back bencher until joining that college. We used fat accounting books to play BC. That was amongst the many benefits of being a back bencher.

  45. Hari Avatar

    This reminds me of other sports during my days at DAV HSS
    Pen game/pen fight
    Cricket with reynolds cap

    Pen game was the pick of the lot, we used to have tournaments and rankings and various levels like light weight pens, heavy and stick bubble gum and poke it with compass to make it rough.. oh boy..that was so much fun…

  46. sri Avatar

    sheer reminiscence..flawless seasoned piece as usual ….

  47. sri Avatar

    btw i like the patten that pops for ppl like me who have not uploaded fotos….
    gud wrk…

  48. kausik Avatar

    >> One-bounce-out Cricket.
    buddy i thought they called it one pitch one hand cricket 😉

  49. […] and there was sadly nobody to write a eulogy. This is a humble attempt to remember that great ga’River of tears’ for boat crash victim The AgeFamily bid farewell to Stacey Wright, one of six […]

  50. Arvind V Avatar

    well, have been a fan of your blog for long now… and share your hatred for the IPL as well
    book cricket inspired me to write about one of my childhood past times… pen fight!

  51. hey! Avatar

    KA, I play Book Crickeet still – in the loo, to pass time (while passing other things) 🙂

  52. G3 Avatar

    lol!!yeah..a great game..the other game which is extinct is “aaku paaku” about “an ode to aaku paaku”?lols….

  53. tgfi Avatar

    vaairy clever post i say! 🙂

  54. Prasanth Avatar

    You missed out one vital contributor to the decline of the hallowed game.
    The great trick of liberalization-privatization-globalization-extraterrestrialization-space aliens :
    Cell-Phone Games:

    Introduction of mobile addictive drugs like snake

    Removal of the team element in fiercely competitive games like football and cricket. Every (wo)man became an island

    From the Nokia 2100 to the Nosung LG XXX—
    They all did it! those bastards!

  55. Vikas Avatar

    Great post Krish! Really brought back fond memories of book cricket..I always remember taking out my Math textbook for the game because I used get a lot of 6’s, or in IPL parlance, I was a contender for the DLF Maximum Sixes!! 😉

  56. Leela Avatar

    Good ol’ schooldays!

  57. padmajav Avatar

    I remember my brother and his pals play Book Cricket during summer hols.. One more game along the same lines is Battleship.
    Even I used to be tempted to join in sometimes!

  58. Santhosh Reddy Avatar

    We used to enjoy playing Book Cricket for hours together. Looks like there is a big opportunity in reviving this game. Of course sponsorship is an issue but could be taken care of by targeted advertising :).

    Wonderful post Ashok.

  59. complicateur Avatar

    I was notoriously bad at a game that apparently required no skill except opposing thumbs until I realised why. It’s like that Vadivel scene:
    “Ivann eppo out-aanaalum othukkuraane, ivan romba nallavandaa … “. Significant amounts of “fan kaathula” page turning, tearing out of pages with zero in old text books and highliting of pages by guyz who thought a highlighter was what Rajni used to light a cigarette when it was in the air.
    Nice nostalgia trip. I hope further articles on roundtable TT and handcricket are in the pipeline.

  60. rajaG Avatar

    You missed one vital element in the game. Living out the fantasy of being the team selector. I can proudly say that I once won the game on my “finger-tips” with a batting line up that consisted of the opening pair of B.S.Chandrasekhar and Prasanna, Bedi-1 down, Lance Gibbs – 2 down……., while my opponent had all the best batsmen. You couldn’t wipe the smile of pride off my face for a couple of days.

  61. bhatnaturally Avatar

    Great post (as usual)! Brought back memories of Book Cricket; playing cricket with one pad (on the left leg), being the umpire for 3 overs and a batsmen soon after!

  62. […] i found krishashok’s column last week on paper.I was surprised. The content was more like his blog posts.While […]

  63. Hemant Avatar

    Fantastic piece. Brought back some memories.

    I remember scoring 500 in a book cricket game once. As I went past one batting milestone after another, my opponent was left pulling his hair out. When his turn to bat came, the poor guy opened a zero page on his first flip! It was hilarious!

  64. Aditya Avatar

    hey thanks a lot for bringing back awesome memories of book cricket
    i even used to maintain a statistics record book and even played a whole world cup alone in summer vacation…
    some days yaar..
    now tht game has indeed lost out to simple and graphhical comp cricket! 😦

  65. […] 11, 2008 · No Comments Last week I posted a blog on Book cricket inspired by this blog which is probably the first ever written evidence that book cricket was infact a reality during the […]

  66. SN Kannan Avatar
    SN Kannan

    You have indeed brought out wonderful nostalgic memories – and I am talking about the 60’s when I was in school in many places in India – and this was played everywhere. In one school in Bombay, we had some interesting variations to expand the game by combining two page openings. This will give two numbers with 25 combinations. With various different rules for these 25 combinations, we used to play this for hours on end – and really kept ourselves “usefully” engaged – particularly when there were no TVs or other entertainment opportunities. It was also fun in determining the rules for the day. Standard was 00 for out, 66 for six, etc, 88 for one, immediate ascending for extras – like 02,24,46,68 will count for one run extra and also for one ball to be bowled extra (like for noball or wide), double ascensions like 24,26,48 for extras without extra ball (like byes). All the rest were dot balls. Sometimes, to speed up matters, the others were also defined sometimes – either for runs or for outs. As the game went for hours, it always involved two persons using the book for the two combinations. One was the bowler who changed after 6 balls and the other the batsman – who happened to be at the crease. Preparing the final score sheets was real fun too.

  67. Dpac Avatar

    Ah!! Brilliant!!! How you manage to come up with such topics is beyond me….truly wonderful!!!anybody out there who played with cricket an exam pad and a sheet of paper crumpled into a ball??? Loads of fun that used to be…Sigh!

  68. Arun Avatar

    Brilliant work! That was very lively description that interlinked the current situation of cricket with the version played by kids at school.

  69. sugavan Avatar

    naan unnoda article-la inspire agi i wrote an age old game based on pens on my blog! I hope you dont sue me for reproducing without permission, and by that I mean the article…tsk tsk

  70. Jayanth Avatar

    Wonderful! Man…..Quite nostalgic….I remember once playing in class with the same text book the teacher was using to teach (how boring!!) but helped me fromm being evicted out as I happened to take out the same page she was asking a question in class……

    But quite a number of summer afternoons have been passed in the mage grove with a boodk (And you know, it was not READING THE BOOK 😉

  71. Anki Avatar

    one-tip-one-hand out was what we called it!

    and thy soul is blessed from taking us down the lanes of book cricket 😀

  72. Cheeni Avatar

    I am surprised you couldn’t sneak in a comic reference to page 3 in there when referring to Kimi K. 🙂 Love reading your posts.

  73. Shreesh Avatar

    Hey,..This brings back sweet nostalgic memories of childhood when i used to play this game with my buddies…. I guess it was long back in 1994-1996…

  74. vidya Avatar

    Its been quite a while since i wanted to write this . That article actually rolled back my memories to class 4, wasnt much into cricket then but could understand only tat the the team with more runs won. there was this guy who sat next to me n he had kept a whole hundred pages note book 4 the game. Irritatin chap n i remember him partly because of this game n partly ’cause the first half of his name in hindi meant the 2nd half in english!!
    Whenever v had fights he d say that india lost to pakistan to lower my spirits n then to gain back the friendship or to cheer me afte a teacher’s blastings he d say india won not just against pakisthan but aus, WI n then when 2 of us shared a cordial relationship it d b a nice game, when v supported d same team yet watched as spectators as well as played.(i opened the book n he did the calculations)
    I really admire his ability 2 remember al the foot long names of certain players, n that too with the right spellings!!
    But then the teachers got to knw abt this obsession n the cricket books (grounds?!) were ceased, n stuff. Anyways the trend slowly stopped n disappeared.
    I donno if u ever knew abt it but there was also this game where holes were drilled into benches using geometrical instruments n paper balls were made n flicked into them? [the teachers decided that they were definitly better off with the former game, not many benches were spared n v had lecture on how to treat public property as our own]
    Never met this guy again after class 4, n to cherish those memories i tried to play tat game again many times but my racin mind offered more tempting things to do n i gave in.
    But m sure someday as i teach rhymes to my kids m sure to pass on this game to them along with a note book to play, n handy tips to escape the wrath of teachers!!

  75. Vivek Avatar

    You r a master….brilliant!
    I too wonder why such a nice game had to die…

  76. ashish makani Avatar
    ashish makani

    hey ashok

    excellent post as always
    really brought back sweet memories of good old school days

    BTW, does anyone remember name place animal
    thing 🙂


  77. Amarghosh Avatar

    i was back at my 9th class….
    thanks 🙂

  78. sanghvi123 Avatar

    I mean what crap?

    FIRST THING stop with this fucking nostalgia cricket is dead and all (what the eff?)

    Then who the fuck writes shit about the spelling bit? who are u (=you)? a language fuckmaster!
    A madrasi language chauvanist?

    Book cricket deserves a better eulogy(?), if thats what you attempt to write.
    But then there’s the matter of it being not dead as well.

    You got published in a magazine or a daily as you claim…what paper accepts so fucking many grammer errors, and a peice littered with so many sweeping assumptions and biases?

    The ending about cultural degradation or whatever else(the anatomy bit) and becoming consumerist zombies is the vaguest/most meaningless provincial conclusion i have come across in certainly the recent past.

    Where did you get that from?

    This is utter calamity for any”attempt to serious/meaningful/insightful writing or even blogging for that matter”.

    PEOPLE please dont endorse or support such brutul insult to writing/blogging and journalism.


  79. krishashok Avatar

    Would you like tea or filter coffee?
    Welcome to the club of “Spelling Mistakers and Grammar Errorers” 🙂 What to do? Newspapers publish any sort of junk nowadays. I agree with you.
    By the way,
    “Grammer” is spelled “Grammar”.
    “Chauvanist” is spelled “Chauvinist”
    “Peice” is spelled “Piece”
    “This is utter calamity” is missing an “an”.
    “Brutul” is spelled “brutal”
    “Aricle” is spelled “Article”

    And oh, incidentally, the assumptions in this “peice” are simply allusions to the crass commercialization of cricket, T20 in particular, and not necessarily accurate facts about Book cricket.

    As for being a Madrasi language “Chauvanist”, I don’t really know, because the last time I checked, there was no language called “Madrasi”

  80. Priya Avatar

    Heh heh. Apdi podu..

  81. Harini Avatar

    sooper reply KA….

    “Would you like tea or filter coffee?”..ultimate ponge….

    thamizh panpadu……… 🙂

  82. […] ci Comme ça {September 5, 2008}   Kiddy Sports This post, the subsequent comments and the other posts related to it, led to a rewind-stop-replay of all […]

  83. […] from a couple of guys from India. Read about it here: Ludo Cricket « Pinastro. Here’s the original post that inspired it. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Cricket World launched by OwzatCasual Collective: […]

  84. […] a time in the Indian sub-continent, mainly the main Test playing nations of India and Pakistan. As Krish Ashok explains, The classic version of this game a involved large, voluminous book (hereinafter referred to […]

  85. Flipcricket Avatar

    Great Blog!…i recently submitted a game to the app store for a book cricket game on the iphone!..its called

    1. prash Avatar

      and i see you lifted the sentence “The classic version of this game a involved large book, being randomly opened and the last digit of the page number being scrutinized like an umpire pondering a leg-before decision.” directly from krish’s post above.

      1. krishashok Avatar

        Oh I see. Well, it’s ok. It’s just one sentence, and although I’d have been happier with something like “As Krish Ashok (link to blog) once put it…Book cricket involves etc etc”, but hey, Apple might reject the app for linking to unsavoury and family-unfriendly content.

        But it’s good to hear that I contributed to an iPhone app, however indirectly

  86. khaleel Avatar

    wonderfully written. you have an awesome writing skill.

  87. G Avatar

    Does anyone remember the Harsha Bhogle hosted Kricket with a K??
    Kris Srikkanth vs Ravi Shastri…There was french cricket there and our beloved Chairman of Selectors was called “Helicopter” Kris

  88. raju Avatar

    one-tip-one-hand out was what we called it!

  89. chin512 Avatar

    Truly Funny. I played so much book cricket that I had few world cups of my own ( like .. 2007 long versions) I filled up ‘rough books’ and have preserved a library of it somewhere in my bedroom overhead storage where legenndery players like Roger Binny opened the innings and scored 100 not out against fearing attack of marshal ,garner, holding, roberts and not so freindly pitch at barbados and other instance when top 6 pakistani batsmen got out for duck and wicketkeeper salim yousuf scoring match-fixer’s delight century !!!

    ahh book cricket..RIP

  90. partha Avatar

    Those of the old-timers would remember that there was a program in star sports channel in the same era when this frech cricket was being played by some professional crickets. This tournament was specifically conducted to be shown on TV with limited audience. The game was played in the nets where usually cricketers practise. Srikkanth, siddhu and the likes played it very enthusiastically. I don’t exactly remember though as to whose team won the final of that “tournament”.

  91. […] a time in the Indian sub-continent, mainly the main Test playing nations of India and Pakistan. As Krish Ashok explains, The classic version of this game a involved large, voluminous book (hereinafter referred to […]

  92. zeph Avatar

    we used to play this during the lunch periods..

  93. vapor 123 starter kit Avatar

    Hi! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick
    shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading through your blog posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums
    that go over the same topics? Thanks a ton!

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