Book Review: Cricket Fever
By Bashir Ahmad Khan
It's an honour of sorts to review this lovely book Cricket Fever which is a history of Pakistan-India tours authored by Syed Khalid Mahmood, a great friend of mine whom I hold in very high esteem as a journalist and a prolific author of cricket books.
All the wonderful memories of the 1987 tour of Pakistan in India rushed back to my mind as I go through this book. I had covered the entire tour as a sportscaster on TV. Additionally, I recorded a ball to ball account of the entire tour in my book Over to Bashir Khan that turned out to be a best seller. My late dear friend from very childhood, the all-time greatest and the pioneering cricket commentator Omar Kureishi, shared every exciting moment on that epoch-making tour.
The author has quite appropriately named the book Cricket Fever because the contests between Pakistan and India generate enormous interest on both sides of the border. They are viewed, watched and listened to by over one billion cricket fans in the sub-continent and around the world.
No cricket series between the two countries generates as much cricket fever as the one between Pakistan and India. When a match is on, everything in the two countries comes to a grinding halt. The time and the traffic come to a stop. And all eyes and ears are geared to cricket. The atmosphere is electrifying. All the ingredients of a Pakistan-India fiercely fought contest come into play and the people hold their breath with either missing or accelerated heart beat.
Well done Khalid on the timely and bold initiative to write the book Cricket Fever when the fever of cricket is indeed at the highest pitch. I would recommend every lover of cricket to read his book, which he has written with great passion, with full knowledge and experience of the game of cricket.