by Aravind Adinga (Picador) ISBN 9781509806485
Radha Kumar and his younger brother, Manjunath, live with their controlling and cricket-obsessed father in Bombay. They have one goal in their lives: to be selected for the cricket team, which will bring fame and fortune to the family. There are many role players in this endeavour, who each take their share of the fees in order to make the leap from obscurity to ‘The next Sachin Tendulkar’.
The brothers are close in the beginning because there is no competition between them for who will be selected- this is until Manju’s talent and skill surpasses his older brother’s. Manju also becomes friendly with another rival cricket player, Javed, who is homosexual and wants to quit cricket.
This leads to a convoluted tale of self-discovery, embarrassment, decisions and acceptance for the family. Selection Day is an interesting look at the darker side of the cut-throat and selfish nature of a lucrative sport in contrast to the Slumdog Millionaire narrative.
Aravind Adaga is the Man Booker winning author of White Tiger and Last Man in Tower.