Friday, February 18, 2005

Pat on the back for domestic bliss

People often talk of cricket being a religion in India. But that isn't quite right. International cricket is a religion, and cricketers who play for India are treated like gods. But very few people have any time for domestic cricket, where matches are often played in front of the proverbial four men and a dog. In some cases it's only the dog that's actually watching the cricket. But Siddhartha Vaidyanathan, my colleague at Wisden Cricinfo, and friend, has been writing about domestic cricket all year.

His latest piece, a look back at the trends in domestic cricket over the last few years, has come in for serious praise from Harsha Bhogle. Writing in the Indian Express, Bhogle says:

"... we can rejoice because of a pathbreaking piece of research by Siddhartha Vaidyanathan, another of our highly promising young breed of cricket writers. He has looked at data from domestic cricket over the last five years and his findings are like music to the ears. I have read his article twice and each time I have felt like old scientists must have as elements were discovered where they ought to have been in the periodic table."

You can read Harsha's full piece by clicking here. But what you really should do is read Siddhartha's piece, which is here.

And remember, this piece didn't just magically happen. It was made possible by the fact that Siddhartha has followed Indian domestic cricket closely for more than a year. He has read every scorecard, spoken to countless people about the matches, and been at the grounds when possible. In the end, there's no substitute for that.