A latest addition to the ever growing number of cricket aficionados is our eight yer old son Abhay! It all began with the start of the cricket season with ICC World Cup closely followed by the Indian Premiere League this year. As he was always surrounded by cricket fans ( who isn't in India?).. and his close cousins growing up to be budding cricketers themselves... this was always expected but the sudden interest this year has been a surprise or rather bemusing! So from watching every match of the season to checking the sports page of the newspaper every morning.....Abhay is totally into cricket! Of course, for his father and grandfather at home......it's like the son/ grandson's coming of age and they can't hide their delight as the three generations of men discuss Hows and Whys of the Gentlemen's game! Yes... This also means that they have to be ready with answers to his never ending questions that range from "How old was Dhoni when we first won the World Cup in 1983?" to questions sounding like he is a team-owner "Next season ... We are going to take Bravo..... Right?" and finally to questions from a true transformer fan " If it's between Gayle and Devillers.... Who will beat whom?" Okay... so another area where boys will always be boys!! So that's why I'm badly hoping my second one to be a girl!!:-))
That's why when I found this book in the Hippocampus list of recommended reads for 7-9 year old kids, I immediately picked it up! " Diary of a Cricket God" by Shamin Flint is a Puffin publication that revolves around a young boy named Marcus Atkinson whose father for some strange reason is convinced that he has a future in sports and is determined to make him a cricketer! Marcus who till recently only believed that cricket was a kind of bug and that a bat only implies a nocturnal animal... receives his first lesson in spin bowling leaving him totally perplexed as to how could one spin ( meaning turn around) and bowl at the same time! Amidst his hilarious and laugh-out-loud antics on the field, Marcus learns a thing or two about cricket...just when his coach announces that there is cricket test the next day. As he wonders whether to bring a pencil and paper for the test, the coach puts to rest his doubts by announcing that there's no way he is going to be playing, much to his relief ... only to realise that his dad is not happy with the coach's decision! So like any anxious and edgy parent who believes that whatever it is, his son should be given a chance... his dad talks to the coach into making him the 11th player! So does Marcus live up to his dad's expectations ? Read on as Marcus surprises everyone in the final over in the run up to what could be termed as a nail-biting finish... with a little bit of help from his ever faithful friend his dog "spot"!:-) So does he have a future in cricket, after all? Hmm... The way he runs through the fielders... has his father change his mind to believe that Rugby is probably his game!:-) A hilarious read presented in a format that is most suited to emergent readers complemented by funny illustrations is worth picking up before the end of the current cricket season!