Book Review : A to Z Of Men And Women Who Excelled In Sports #blogchatterEbook

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A to Z of Men And Women Who Excelled In Sports” by Sitharaam Jayakumar would be the third book I have reviewed, the second book of my choice, as part of Blogchatter book review program (#blogchatterEbook).

In this book, author has picked twenty six sports personalities that have excelled in their respective sporting disciplines. Of different sports persons, cricketers with 42% have occupied lion’s share of authors interest and attention. Footballers and tennis players have got 11% coverage. Boxers, shuttlers and chess players have got 7.6% coverage, while hockey, athletics and gymnastics have got only 3.8% space.

Out of twenty six sporting legends, nearly 33% are Indians. The author has included Vishwanathan Anand, Dhyan Chand, Mary Kom, Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu, Deepa Karmakar, Sachin Tendulkar, Gundappa Vishwanath, Srinivasan Venkataraghvan, Robin Uthappa, Yazuvendra Chahal.

The author has collected facts, and put them together in one place, about our sporting legends that can certainly make us very proud. The author has gleaned from literature effusive words of praise that have been showered on Dhyan Chand in the Netherlands. A news paper report in the Netherlands printed the following about Dhyan Chand, ‘This is not a game of Hockey, but magic. Dhyan Chand is, in fact, the magician of Hockey’

Thanks to this book, readers will come to know of Indian and international sporting stars. Challenges faced by the likes of Dhyan Chand, Mary Kom, Deepa Karmakar, Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu, Dhyan Chand, and how they overcame hurdles through hardwork, determination and talent. This book can be an inspiration to budding sports lovers.

My Take

Writing a book on prominent sports personalities that have excelled in their respective fields of expertise is always very difficult. Given the diversity of sporting disciplines, continuously breaking world records, and emergence of new stars, makes it a challenge whom to include and whom to omit. This problem becomes more complex, when an author is working following the format of A to Z blogging challenge. As per rule of the competition, every post, in this case sports person, should have a letter specific for the day. No wonder we find mention of Quinton de Kock and Yuzvendra Chahal. Both these players may be good, they are yet to attain the stature to share the space with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar.

One omission that is glaring in my mind is leaving out Ussain Bolt from under the alphabet U. The author has included Robin Uthappa. While Ussain Bolt remains all time greatest sprinter, Robin Uthappa may not find space in best eleven in Indian Premier League.

My intention is not to criticise unnecessarily, more so given the constraints under which the author was functioning. Still it will be unfair not to point out could we have not included greats like Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar or Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the book, given that out of 11 cricketers profiled we have five Indians. Along similar lines, it can be argued that of three footballers included in the book, Messi and Ronaldo do not have a world cup under their belt. Could any excellence in football field ever be complete without including Pele and Maradona?

The author has given many facts about sports personalities. Some sporting legends like Dhyan Chand, Jessie Owens, Bjorn Borg, Srinivasan Venkataraghavan, Zaheer Abbas, and Muhammad Ali are from an era many youngsters may not be familiar with. This book will refresh their memory about stars from a bygone era.

The book is written in a easy free flowing language. A readable book. Sports lovers should have a copy for ready reference in their book shelf.

This review is undertaken as per blogchatter book review program (#blogchatterEbook).

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