Rajan Bala's last book released by Sanjay Manjrekar

Rajan Bala's last book released by Sanjay Manjrekar

"Rajan is a person you cannot forget easily. He was a cricket romantic. He had a love affair with Sachin Tendulkar. We used to pull Sachin's leg about it a lot. Rajan's eyes would brighten when he saw Sachin," said Manjrekar at the Cricket Club of India before releasing the book published by "Marine Sports".

Saying he was not an avid reader of books, especially cricket books, in his playing days, Manjrekar said Rahul Dravid, who was also present there, was the opposite - a voracious reader of cricket books.

The cricketer-turned-commentator said Bala's absence would always leave a vacuum in their heart. "We will always be one personality short (following Rajan's death). Let's relive a few moments with Rajan by reading this book. He's dedicated his entire life to this game," he said.

Dravid said it was through the cricket articles and reports sent by people like Rajan Bala that the cricket fans in the country were able to follow the progress of the Indian team overseas when there was no television coverage.

"Rajan's greatest contribution is that he had covered the game for many decades and had brought the heroes of the previous generation to life. He's not everyone's cup of tea but had a very good knowledge of the game. I'm looking forward to reading the book," the India batting stalwart said.

Former India skipper Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi has provided the Foreword while another former captain Anil Kumble has penned a one-page article in appreciation of the author.

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