Fanattic Sports Museum | The Boria Majumdar Collection
For any sports there has to be a history. There is a consensus of expert opinion that cricket may have been invented during Saxon or Norman times by children living in the Weald, an area of dense woodlands and clearings in south-east England.
These historical facts are meticulously gleaned and penned by immortal names like Ray Robinson, Neville Cardus, David Foot and C.L.R. James, some wrote on wide variety, some purely on the history of cricket. In the modern times Gideon Haigh is taking the legacy forward. In India Boria Majumdar, a Rhodes Scholar who accomplished his D Phil in history of Indian cricket from Oxford University has transcended from being a cricket historian. While Ramchandra Guha and Mukul Kesavan in India remained the orthodox historian, Boria has been adventurous to say the least.
If Boria portraits the game as a medium of national movement in his book 22 yards to Freedom, then Playing it My Way, an autobiography of Sachin Tendulakar depicts the god of cricket as the boy next door, a legend rising from the dusty red soil of Shivaji Park. Eleven Gods and a billion Indians searches for many answers, treads many grey areas of Indian cricket, yet very candid to readers.
A historian and author apart Boria essays his versatility by writing columns in newspapers and being a consulting sports editor with the India Today news channel. The man is absolutely free flowing as a commentator too.
After having seen a wide array of hall of fame for different sports, including Lords and Melbourne, Boria nurtured a dream of making his own sport museum. He firmly believed in those lines of Sachin Tendulkar that read, “Enjoy the game. Chase your dreams. Dreams do come true.” Boria turned his dream into reality by founding The Fanattic Sports Museum, the first multi sports museum in India where every artefact will leave you awestruck. From Sir Don Bradman’s bat of 1948 series against India to a letter written by W.G. Grace, scores of rare cricket memorabilia are gracing the museum.
There’s a pair of batting gloves with which Sachin Tendulkar got his 100th international hundred. The football corner finds collection of jerseys signed by late Diego Maradona, Leo Messi and Christiano Ronaldo. A 29 feet 4-1/4 inches long wooden plank singed by long jumper Mike Powell defines the great leap that broke the seemingly impossible previous world record of Bob Beamon. Artefacts ranges from Tennis to Boxing, from Olympic to Para-Olympic. Spread over three thousand square feet area, the sheer architecture of the museum is itself breathtaking.
Boria seems optimistic in shifting the museum to Eden Gardens from the fringes of the city which would throw the museum open to many more enthusiasts who enjoy taking a plunge into cricketing history. Cricket world salutes Boria Majumdar for his unique endeavour. May his multi sports museum blossom into one of the best in the world.
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