FORMER INDIAN Test batsman Aakash Chopra launched his third book titled ‘The Insider: Decoding The Craft of Cricket’ at a one-of-a-kind book launch organised by ESPNcricinfo at the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai on Friday.
The event was highlighted by the presence of cricket stalwart and one of India’s greatest batsmen, Rahul Dravid, who spoke about the craft of batting that is the focus of Chopra’s book. World record-holder Ajinkya Rahane was also present at the star-studded launch. Rahane spoke about his own experiences of batting in different conditions at home and abroad. Ex-Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar and former bowler Ajit Agarkar were among the other well-known faces who graced the occasion with their presence. The event was also live on periscope, where fans could get a sneak-peek.
‘The Insider’ is Chopra’s third book in six years. In 2009, he published his first book titled ‘Beyond the Blues: A First-Class Season Like No Other’, a diary of Chopra’s 2007-08 domestic season. In 2011, his second book titled ‘Out of the Blue’ was published, which was an account of Rajasthan’s Ranji Trophy triumph.
When asked about his writing experiences by ESPNcricinfo’s Editor-in-Chief, Sambit Bal, Chopra said writing liberates him and he enjoys the feeling of churning his thoughts in his mind and then putting them together for the fans. He also said that his loyalty now lies towards the fans who read him, and not with the cricketing fraternity or the media.
The 37-year old batsman turned commentator represented India in 10 Test matches between 2003 and 04. His first writing assignment was with Hindustan Times, post which Chopra got involved in serious cricket writing. Chopra also admits that he was inspired to become a writer from an early age, and that he faced no difficulties in penning his opinions.
Here’s a picture of Aakash, Dravid and Rahane with the winners of The Insider Treasure Hunt conducted by ESPNcricinfo a day prior to the launch.