“Make Shashi Tharoor the Congress president.”

Politics is usually not far away when a conversation involves Rajdeep Sardesai and Shashi Tharoor. But on January 25, they joined Australian sports journalist Gideon Haigh on stage to discuss India’s second favourite sport (after politics) – cricket.

As is wont in a Tharoor session at the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival 2020, the NEXA Front Lawn was packed to the rafters and the fact that he was discussing cricket didn’t seem to deter the thronging fans who were simply there to listen to him.

While Tharoor and Sardesai need no introduction, Gideon Haigh is a well-known Australian sports and business journalist with numerous titles to his name. They were in conversation with Keshav Guha.

The Romance of the Game

The discussion started with panellists revealing ‘the romance of the game’ or how they fell in love with it. Gideon Haigh explained that it was Victor Trumper’s iconic image – one in which he is taking a great stride to hit a ball – that made him fall in love.

The image is from 1905 at the Oval and remains one of cricket’s most enduring image and Haigh noted, quite ruefully, that he still hadn’t managed to play that shot.

For Rajdeep Sardesai, it was his father Vijay Sardesai, who till now remains India’s only Goa-born cricketer. The kid who learnt cricket from the village tailor, who in turn had learnt about the game from commentary went to Bombay upon an RBI captain’s say so and would go on to join the Indian team.

The anchor noted that cricket didn’t run in the blood, and despite having the very best equipment and coaching, he could never make it.

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