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The market for sports memoirs that reveal big bad secrets is large. India's greats should join the game
Revelations of infidelity, a marriage to a former Playboy playmate and hints of why a relationship with Chris Evert ended on the cusp of marriage, days after both won Wimbledon in 1974, make The Outsider: A Memoir, by tennis's original bad boy Jimmy Connors, a strong contender for every bestseller list. There seems to be a thriving market for sports autobiographies, such as the one by the eight-time Grand Slam winner, that offer a peek into the dark side of fame. The readers are lassoed in as publishing houses follow one basic rule: controversy equals moolah.
If Andre Agassi risked being stripped of a few Grand Slam titles for his crystal meth revelations in Open, then Herschelle Gibbs's memoir, To the Point, turned into his cricketing obituary as his story threw unflattering light on the cliques in the South African side on the field and the orgies off it. Closer home too, scandals have helped sell even poorly written sports autobiographies. Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar's Controversially Yours clogged the coffers with his admissions of ball tampering and claims of smelling fear as Sachin Tendulkar walked out to bat. The big question, then, is: why haven't some of India's greatest sportspersons resorted to the same technique to confess their sins while fattening their wallets?