I've never made much of it here before but for many years my day job ('What do you do in real life?' Matthew Engel asked me the other week) involved looking after archives. These days I spend more time encouraging others to value them, but I still pass most of my days surrounded by registers, by maps, by deeds, by wills, by letters. I like it, and I can get days off to watch cricket.
We value the things we look after and we try not to let them get eaten by insects. This, at the most basic level, is part of our ethos.
Because of this, and perhaps because I've been reading and thinking about Wisden and the game's rich written heritage more than usual recently, I was truly shocked by this, which Aakash Chopra, the former Indian Test batsman, was good enough to post on Twitter yesterday.
As my friend Chris Smith, of Declaration Game, has suggested, the sad state of the Kanga Memorial Library could be regarded as a metaphor for Indian cricket; that beneath the gleaming facade of the IPL, or in this case the redeveloped Wankhede Stadium, the infrastructure of the game, or the fabric of its history, has been left to wither.
It's hard to know what to do. This is a library I've never visited in a country I've never visited. But, at the moment, I feel as though I ought to do something.
I'm going to explore a few avenues and report back.
In the meantime, read it and weep.
The case for Matt Renshaw
1 week ago