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Imperfect

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  501 ratings  ·  69 reviews
In Imperfect, Sanjay Manjrekar brings his famous analytic powers to look back at his own career as
a cricketer. His photographic memory takes the reader along on his journey from the dusty maidans
of Mumbai to the world stage as the diminutive batsman faces up to the fearsome West Indian and
Pakistani pace attacks.

In his precise plainspeak, Sanjay reflects on his father Vijay
...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published December 30th 2017 by HarperCollins India
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Ameya Joshi
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm too young to have anything but faint memories of Manjrekar the batsman from the 1996 World Cup, but I've always found him a proficient commentator (not exceptional by any means) and a columnist not afraid to speak his mind. Imperfect takes more from Manjrekar the columnist than Manjrekar the batsman. Autobiographies can be a bit of a drag which promise more than they deliver, unless you're a huge fan and interested in knowing every detail of the persons life (and let's be honest here - no ...more
Rahul Govindwar
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We always read autobiographies of successful and famous people. I started this book intending to read about someone average. He actually describes about his journey from success to failure in cricket and to success again in commentary. Half a star extra for Manjrekar's writing style.
Kannan Ekanath
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imperfect is about as best an Indian cricket based autobiography will ever get. While most (auto) biographies are mere cricketing stats collections or glory tales this book describes a man, his cricket, his struggles and his self doubts just like every single one of us mere mortals.

Sanjay Manjrekar was the miracle that never happened. The Dravid that never materialised. His relationship with cricket is pure romance with no consummation. Sanjay readily acknowledges this and has no qualms about
...more
Ankit Modi
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was never a Manjrekar fan - neither batting nor commentary. I picked this book to understand what went wrong in the 90s with Indian cricket. The book provided that and much more. You understand how Mumbai looks after a budding cricketer, petty dressing room politics during the 90s, the backdrop of the lost 1996 world cup semifinal, the pathetic attitude of Indian teams when traveling overseas etc.

This is a brutally honest biography and the man criticizes himself with a bird's eye view. It
...more
Ramachandra Maharudrappa
Well, whenever I saw Manjrekar batting with Tendulkar; I couldnt differentiate between the two. IMO, Manjrekar had everything to become a successful batsman, but the script didnt really go that way. In his book, hes been brazenly candid and has penned down everything that was happening in Indian cricketing circles during the 90s. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. No cricket romantic will ever feel bored reading this book. Well done Sanjay !! ...more
Umesh Kesavan
Instead of the usual memoirs of achievers, here is a self-introspective autobiography by a cricketer who is known now as a commentator biased towards Mumbai cricketers. A book on a mediocre career is welcome but if the writing is also mediocre, what to do ?
Balachander
Finished this in a couple of hours. To be honest, the most surprisingly honest bits were already revealed in the excerpts published in many places online. The rest of it, especially those devoted to his repeated tortured attempts at making a comeback to the top of the game, aren't very new. Though they do have the authenticity, coming from the horse's mouth so to speak. I did love the bits about the Mumbai cricket culture and how people (even some like the much maligned, and for good reasons, ...more
Ramnath Iyer
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports, cricket
Refreshing, searing honesty

Sanjay Manjrekars autobiography stands out from most other sportspersons self-portraits in the honesty of its self-analysis. This honesty is seen in is his surprising admission that his main motivation was his love for the limelight rather than that for the sport itself. It is evident in his admission of his tendency to over-analyse his technique, which led to increased mental confusion which showed up in indecisive footwork at the crease. Paralysis through over
...more
Akhilesh
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Manjrekar is someone I admired for a long time as commentator who spoke his mind and was largely out of the commentary cabal owned by the BCCI. He might have slowly joined that league now but he still seems like one of the better commentators among the current lot.

The book however is extremely candid and informative. I was primarily intrigued by this book to know more about Indian cricket in the late 80's and mid 90's before the emergence of the superstar Fab 5. I followed cricket even then but
...more
A Man Called Ove
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports-arts
3.5/5 This book has been recommended by podcasts as refreshingly honest and hence self-critical. And indeed, this book is rare in this aspect among Indian autobiographies.
As a teenager the first sports autobiographies/memoirs I read were the quartret by Sunil Gavaskar. While those books were quite interesting and quite honest in putting the blame on others, Gavaskar exonerated himself of even scoring 36* in a 60 over ODI despite being the opener. Ditto for a couple of dozen sports
...more
Nilesh
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading Sanjay Manjrekars Imperfect. For a cricket fan, this book offers lot of things beyond just cricket. I always like enjoy reading about making of a cricketer, especially Mumbai cricketer. The chapters about Sanjay Manjrekars struggle and retirement offers quite an insight about how a sportsman suffers when he loses his form and underperforms. As an armchair critic it is always easy to blame the players who are not performing, but Sanjay Manjrekars narration of his experiences ...more
Nishant Bhagat
Started with a bang and somewhere it got lost in a whimper.

The positives are that the author has been candid about his life. I loved the chapter where he speaks about his family. It is really written with a lot of emotion. We always thought he was an unrealised potential but in this book he has put that thought to rest. Considering he hardly loved what he did, his record is a phenomenal achievement.

Yet, the cricket fan in me was looking for a lot more tales, especially about Mumbai cricket as
...more
Usman  Baig
Every word in this short autobiography of commentator and former Indian Cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar serves to show his direct and blunt nature. There are no long winding paras on the beauty of the game or ethereal experiences, rather Sanjay focuses on conveying his feelings and unabashed opinion on the Indian Cricketing Culture and his experience dealing with it on various levels. The most remarkable aspect of this book is Manjrekars unapologetic depiction of Cricket not as a passion for him but ...more
Akshy
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sanju Manju is not the brilliant cricketer who needs to write an autobiography. A career that is far from what could be termed as successful, he goes on to write on it. He doesn't call himself an underachiever. He accepts what he thinks is reality. It is one in which he would carry the tag of a 'mediocre' cricketer. He realises it probably only after he had hung his boots. I somewhere get an idea from his writing (which itself is only average), that he thinks himself to be a good commentator. ...more
Subramaniam Avinash
I believe Sanjay Manjrekar was one of the finest players of fast bowling that India has ever produced. I was immensely disappointed when he didn't go on to fulfill the promise he showed in his first 15 Tests - I thought he'd score at least 7000 runs in Tests and an equal number in ODIs. He didn't come even close. In this book, he tries to help us understand why this is the case. I think Che Pujara should read this book. If Pujara isn't careful about being too careful, he could end up with a ...more
Suman Srivastava
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an honest book. It is almost as if he was analysing the life of somebody else. He talks about how difficult his father had become after retiring from cricket, the problems his mother faced, his own arrogance when he became the Mumbai Ranji captain and so on. He names everyone he praises and does not name people he criticises. An interesting book to read for cricket lovers.
Ruschil
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sanjay Manjrekar has been in the eye of the storm off late, due to some arguably unwarranted criticism of current players. But as they say, it doesn't hurt to be a newsmaker even for the wrong reasons. And occasionally, it may even help your bank balance! When Ravindra Jadeja shot back at the former cricketer to flag off a social media battle, with the likes of Ganguly, Rohit Sharma & Michael Vaughan joining in the party, I couldn't help wondering just what has reduced this moderately ...more
Chris Abraham
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mediocre batsman then. A mediocre commentator now. An apt title for his autobiography would have been 'Mediocre', instead of 'Imperfect'. (But then, that would be too self-defeating, I guess.) Though mediocre in his two avatars, that's not the adjective that comes to mind when I try to describe his book. It's almost perfect (well..) in reliving Indian cricket of the 90s.. you know, those times when it was the perfect time to be Sachin Tendulkar and not much anybody else. Manjrekar gets ...more
Feroz Mulla
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Let me caveat my review by saying right away that I hardly ever read biographies. I am generally interested in an individual's art rather than this life experiences. However, when I came across the announcement of this book, it did get me interested. The reasons for that interest were two-folds:
- The events in this book belong to an era of cricket (90s) when I was one of the passionate, emotionally engaged, "cricket crazy" fans that India is known for. Starting with the match fixing scandal of
...more
Ameya Deshmukh
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this enriching autobiography, Sanjay Manjrekar has kept the readers entertained with his life story, and has narrated it with the utmost humility. Even downplaying his achievements at times, Manjrekar has glorified those people/cricketers who deserve it the most, like former Pakistan captain Imran Khan, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and commentators like the great Tony Greig and his contemporaries, like Simon Doull and Mike Atherton, all of whom from which he has learnt a great deal, as ...more
Ashish
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is no secret that the lasting trait one remembers Sanjay Manjrekar with is that of a dour, serious character on and off the field. His recently released biography, 'Imperfect' carries that tone throughout and yet, ends up providing the reader with some interesting snippets from the life of this former Indian middle-order batsman.
Manjrekar primarily talks about three things, his personal life, his stint as a cricketer and his life post-retirement when he has apparently never had the urge to
...more
Avishek
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bumped across this book after i completed with Saurav Ganguly's biography. Credit goes to goodreads as i came across imperfect while going through reviews about saurav's book. The name imperfect attracted my attention. Once i started reading i was glued to it. What i found interesting is the sincerity and honesty with which it is written. A simple read but gives great insights into a life of cricketer who could very well analyse what possibly went wrong and what he could have very well ...more
Anand Sankhe
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm Perfect

For some reasons, one wants certain individuals to do well. For me, Sanjay Manjrekar is one of them (Vinod Kambli, the other). I felt the pain when they didn't do as well as they should have. My guess is that the cricket environment of the 90s gave very little chance to guys like Sanjay to stay on top
But it is great to read that Sanjay has overcome the bitterness. For me, that is the takeway. One criticism - at times, I felt Sanjay has overdone "it was all my fault" tone. Not sure
...more
Tevin Joseph
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sanjay Manjrekar, an international cricketer-turned-commentator, recently released his autobiography titled Imperfect. The book is not an attempt to glorify his days as a cricketer or commentator. It starts with explaining the impact of his father, Vijay Manjrekar, a former Test cricketer, on his life.

Manjrekar also reveals a lot of inside stories about cricket in Mumbai, international cricket, and his time in the commentary box. His flaws as a batsman as well as a person are portrayed
...more
Swanand Kelkar
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the standards of politically correct Indian ex-cricketers this I thought was quite a candid book - both at the personal level as well as what was happening around him. I especially loved the parts about the talent spotting network of Mumbai cricketers, Sanjay's own admission of what led him to cricket, his troubled relationship with his father, his frank soul searching of what led to his downfall, the workings ( or lack of it) of the Indian cricket team in the nineties. I would have loved to ...more
Ankit Doshi
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give it 4 Stars mainly for the refreshing candor with which Manjrekar has described the Indian dressing room back in the late 80s and early 90s. He is quite forthcoming about his views on Kapil and Azhars behaviour or abilities which is not very common to find in India. Also, the chapters on Pakistan and West Indies are interesting. The start isnt as catchy but the books gets better as you read it. Dont expect great writing. Its almost as if Manjrekar is sitting with you and saying it. The ...more
Deepak  Shah
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honest, very personal but highly readable

Very honest, unhesitant at bringing out personal imperfections rather than glorifying achievements; very well written. One can see the author telling his story rather than some one else on his behalf. Gives some insight into his cricket playing days tactfully avoiding some controversial period in Indian cricket still confirming how badly Indian team and cricket was divided along regional lines. I am sure the reader will generate a lot of respect for the
...more
Shobhit Kukreti
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The autobiography that is not that tough to read. People call him too negative or critical of players but he himself has accepted it and has given reason for it. It's not an easy job to acknowledge and accept your mistakes . The best thing I liked about this book is that he is very honest with himself in this book .
The chapter about commentary is very insightful and I agree with most of the thing sanjay has said. The commentators he has mentioned in his list can't ve questioned . Overall an
...more
Aakar
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best cricket autobiographies. He actually talks about his own failings and talks about the truly pathetic nature of Indian cricket in the 80s and 90s. Refreshingly candid about the inner workings of the dressing room at that time. He is also extremely self critical, which is rare. My respect for Manjrekar has gone up a few notches after reading this. Just wish it was longer and more detailed, with less abrupt endings.
Sowmya
Apr 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I started reading this because of Sharda Ugra's review on EspnCricinfo. It is a quick read and I enjoyed reading it. While I did not particularly like the parts where he spoke about himself, I enjoyed reading Manjrekar's comments about other national teams, players, and about his family members. I also liked his final chapter on the every day work life, challenges, and career path of a cricket commentator.
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