Authors Steal the Show at Ekamra Sports Lit Fest

VVS Laxman, Westland win Sports Book Awards

The 2nd Ekamra Sports Literature Festival lived up to its billing, showcasing authors as the two-day festival ended with India’s 1st ever Sports book awards in 6 categories. Audiences got to hear and understand international authors like Canada’s Kristen Worley, Sri Lankan Shehan Karunatilaka and Australia’s Michael Sexton.

For the awards, the jury comprised senior editors and academicians who shortlisted submissions received from various publishing houses.

Winners of the First-ever sports book awards:

  1. Cricket Book of the Year – Wizards: The Story of Indian Spin Bowling by Anindya Dutta. Published by Westland
  2. Sports Book of the Year – Cricket Country: The Untold History of the First All India Team Cricket by Prashant Kidambi. Published by Penguin Viking
  3. Autobiography of the Year – 281 & Beyond by VVS Laxman and R Kaushik. Published by Westland Sport
  4. Biography of the Year – Dipa Karmakar: The Small Wonder by Bishweshwar Nandi, Digvijay Singh Deo, Vimal Mohan. Published by Fingerprint Publishing
  5. Outstanding Sports Book Award – No Ball: The Murky World of Match Fixing by Chandramohan Puppala. Published by Pan Macmillan India
  6. Sports Publisher of the year – Westland Publishing.

Speaking on the occasion Shireen Sethi, Director of Ekamra Sports Literature Festival said, “The second season of the Ekamra Sports Lit Fest had some extremely engaging sessions with prominent  authors, bestselling books and the first ever sports awards being presented. “The next edition in 2020 would focus to bring in more sports writers from India and abroad, and with it bring in varied experiences, stories from across the sporting spectrum. We look forward to looking at more sports oriented books but in the genre beyond biographies and autobiographies.”

 Authors Steal the Show at Ekamra Sports Lit Fest

The second day of the Ekamra Sports Literature Festival began with a discussion on Athletes turned Politicians. The panelists were Kirti Azad, member of 1983 World Cup winning Indian cricket team and Dilip Tirkey, former Indian Hockey Captain.

The most emotional and controversial session of the day was about a book authored by Canadian Cyclist Kristen Worley titled Woman Enough.  Worley, a transgender sportsperson, said physical transition from one gender to another was painful and terrifying. She said life takes a different turn. She said she endured many odds and even fought court cases to participate in cycling… and won there too.

The crowd favourite and Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka who won several awards for his debut book ‘Chinaman’, which spoke about cricket in Sri Lanka and the life around it, including politics.  He said that cricket in Sri Lanka was no longer an exclusive club. Cricket is well catalogued these days, he said.  While discussing Chinaman, Shehan said though people say his book makes readers like cricket, it is not necessary that those who read books go to see cricket and those who go to see cricket love to read books. Sports and politics in India and Sri Lanka are the same according to him, but he felt that in India the situation is better.


It was a perfect finale to an author’s-driven festival when Michael Sexton opened his book “Border’s Battlers”, a racy read on the world’s only 2nd Tied-Test played between India and Australia at Madras. The narration also involved the umpire Vikramraju who raised his finger to dismiss Maninder Singh.


On the first day, the book ‘The Fire Burns Blue – A History of Women’s Cricket in India’ was discussed and then ‘What’s Good About Falling’, with sports writer and author Prajwal Hegde involved in a freewheeling chat with India’s Davis Cup Captain Rohit Rajpal. From the Heart showed India’s ace sprinter Dutee Chand in a no-holds- barred session. Dutee rued how lack of funds and sponsors come in the way of her training for the next Olympics in 2020.


The session ‘The Full Monty’ was the one which got the most thunderous applause as former England spinner Monty Panesar gave everyone an honest account of his cricketing days. Talking about his book life he said, “When I am talking about my career I want to be true and give an honest account as to how I became a cricketer in slightly difficult times, especially coming from a totally different background”. 


T20 couldn’t be left out as Cricket: 2.0 the T20 Revolution had author Tim Wigmore with T20 WC winning bowler Joginder Sharma. The session explored the various facets of T2O affecting and enriching the game of cricket.

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Updated Date: Dec 16, 2019 17:54:27 IST