In October 2000, former New Zealand captain John Wright was named coach of the Indian cricket team. It was an appointment that was not expected to last and an experiment that was not expected to work. Indian cricket had never had a foreign coach, and Wright had not been to India in over a decade.
Bucking all doomsday prophecies, an unusual partnership between a high-profile team and a low-profile coach survived five years. In this time Indian cricket was rebuilt after the match-fixing scandal and enjoyed its best results in decades, changing forever the way the world looked at it.
Throughout the years that he coached India, Wright kept a detailed diary that formed the basis of his account. With honesty and humour, he provides a unique insight into the extraordinary world of Indian cricket – the vast scale and enormous riches, the passionate fans, the Byzantine politics – and outlines the tough road to the top in a cricket-mad country of a billion hopefuls.
He takes us inside the dressing room to meet some of the biggest names in the game, such as Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, and relives for us the anxieties and triumphs of India’s tours if Pakistan, West Indies, England, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the unforgettable 2003 World Cup, when India made it all the way to the finals with enough excitement and misadventure along the way to baffle even the most loyal of its fans.
Indian Summers is more than one man’s story. This is Indian cricket as it has rarely been seen or written about before: up close and from the inside.
“The world of Indian cricket – or at least of the Indian cricket team – has been a closed book until now, but one which will open this week when Indian Summers is published… Wright lifts a veil to reveal a cricket team like no other.”
“A memoir of his time as Indian coach that is enlightening without being controversial.”
“If you think being England’s football manager is hard, consider coaching the India cricket team… In his account of his five years in charge New Zealander John Wright delivers a fascinating, and often amusing, insight into the India players.”
‘Observer Sports Magazine’
“A readable book about a fascinating period in Indian cricket.”
“The inner workings of the world’s most powerful cricket nation… it’s also a warts-an-all tale of Indian cricket itself, with all its excesses and overflowing passions… A witty, almost racy, occasional light-hearted romp through Indian cricket, as seen by an outsider looking in.”
‘All About Cricket’