In Chasing Sachin, Adam Carroll-Smith spends the summer of 2011, well… chasing Sachin, recounting the ups and downs (downs and more downs really) in his first book (which has three – yes three – pictures of Sachin on the cover!)
Having idolised “Sach” (natch) since his youth, Ad (you get used to the one syllable chuminess) pursues his dream to bowl one delivery that might, like Michael Vaughan’s, snake between the Mumbai Maestro’s bat and pad and clean him up. Unlike MPV, Ad does not score a trio of Test match 190s in order to get his chance to have a pop at Sach – he, like the ex-tabloid journo and schoolboy cricketer that he is, goes off on a series of wild goose chases in an attempt to speak to Sach, to Sach’s management, to Sach’s agent, to Sach’s hotel receptionist. In this Ahab-like quest, Ad is assisted by a rogues gallery of friends who pull a few stunts, crack a few gags and bugger him up with blokeish bonhomie.
Ad’s a pleasant enough companion over 260 odd pages, though that opinion may not be shared by all women – this is a book that owes something to Top Gear’s laddish banter, mercifully shorn of Clarkson and co’s overt sexism and right-wing politics. There are a few good jokes and a few duff ones too and, I add condescendingly, rather more asides and adverbs than suits my taste. But Ad isn’t trying to win prizes here – he’s invited us along for a summertime jolly fuelled by beer, pizzas and Nandos played out on mobile phones and computer screens dressed in a series of outfits inappropriate for their environments. If I were 26 again and had the money and the time, it’s pretty much what I’d have done too – though I’d have sorted that wasp out.