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Opinion

Cricket and banking: Jain keeps his eye on the ball

To cricket aficionados, great writers such as EW Swanton and CLR James are as integral a part of the game’s rich tapestry as any player. Now a new name can be added to the list of cricket writers: Anshu Jain, Deutsche Bank’s corporate and investment bank chief.

Last month Jain the banker became Jain the cricket hack with a piece in Newsweek on the World Cup, which is currently taking place in the subcontinent.

In an article entitled "Cricket, lovely cricket" Jain pens a personal, at times tender, piece on previous World Cups as well as a preview of the present one – the first tournament was in 1975; this year’s is the 10th.

For Jain, the quadrennial World Cup "marks the passage of eras". The numbers of the year in which they are held, "once invoked, create an immediate bond among the cognoscenti."

But despite him waxing lyrically about his subject he can’t take off his financier’s hat completely, favouring Australia (odds of 6.5), Pakistan (8.5) and especially West Indies (21) as the best-value punts. But then he hedges his picks by tipping India to be in the final against either Australia or Pakistan.

"I’ve learned always to heed the ineffable wisdom of market pricing, and only then to essay my own view," he writes, like a venerable sage.

Jain’s love of cricket is well known. For a while he was a part owner of one of the teams in the Indian Premier League, the richest cricket competition in the world. He is also known to fraternize with some of the game’s greatest names, such as former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne, Liz Hurley’s ex-beau.

Interestingly, Jain signs off the piece stating he plays for Deutsche Bank’s cricket team, before adding his day job. It’s nice to see where his priorities lie.

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