Peter Roebuck: A writer par exellence
Peter Roebuck for me was an equivalent of god in cricket writing and whenever I read his pieces, I relished it and revelled at the thought -process of the best cricketer writer.
He was much more than a cricket writer; he was the voice of cricket – He was very vocal yet lucid with his views, he was assertive yet rationale with the perspective. Every piece of his is a lesson in cricket and cricket writing. He was a cricket intellect to the core and his passion towards the game was absolute. He never indulged in jingoism and his emotions were unadulterated towards the great game; rather the only affection he seemed to have was with cricket only.
With a cricketing brain like none other, Roebuck had the forte over the English language at his command and combined with the proficiency of the game, Roebuck actually created magic with every sentence he wrote.
For me there is no favourite piece of cricket literature written by Roebuck, because every new article of his was just a tad better than the previous one and it was like that only. My Internet Explorer bookmark is filled with Roebuck’s articles and not surprisingly, it is in chronological order.
Through his writing I learned (or still learning) why is it important for a sports scribe to be unbiased and how to view the game not as a casual observer, but as a bull-headed critic. He was a writer with no holds bar approach when it came to his perspective, his views or his ideas. He was never diplomatically correct because he never tried to be in that position.
His pieces on Glenn McGrath, Sachin Tendulkar, Adam Gilchrist and VVS Laxman would make an average baseball loving American fall in love with these legends of cricket. Reading about his idea of Test cricket would make the idea of ODI and T20 cricket pitiful.
His was a voice to reckon with and his take on cricket was like a holy grail. He was not only shrewd but was downright witty and entertaining.
I am deeply saddened by the death of Peter Roebuck but he will live through his articles and would be remembered as one of the greatest cricket writer.