Cricket, played with finesse and power at the most rarefied level, might be considered pure poetry. The game has inspired torrents of real verse (some of it dreadful). But a prize-winning poet moonlighting as a blogger writing about one of the world's most thrilling cricket championships? You could be sent to silly mid-off for suggesting it. Oddly - so it seems - this is Tishani Doshi's current beat: posting opinion pieces inspired by her watching the star-spangled, franchise-based Indian Premier League, now in its second season, on television in Madras (which she avoids calling Chennai). And because cricket is perhaps the single pursuit followed most feverishly down any avenue of Indian life, it can hardly be ruled remiss of Doshi to enjoy a boundless brief encompassing actress Shilpa Shetty, team chakras and controversial cheerleaders, as well as the results of the Rajasthan Royals, the Delhi Daredevils and the rest. Cricinfo.com obviously helps to pay the rent; so much, therefore, for the patronising image of the rag-chic poet begging for a break. 'Cricket has always been a passion so the blog was a case of pure arm twisting. It's all good though,' says Doshi when we meet in Ubud, Bali. And it transpires that she has a pedigree when it comes to cricket-related writing, having contributed to a forthcoming biography of Sri Lankan off-spinner and world-record wicket-taker Muttiah Muralitharan. 'Murali is a great guy and I love Sri Lanka, so it was a fun project,' she says. But cricket, however agreeable, is merely a diversion from the day job. 'I'm working on some new poems,' reveals Doshi, 33, winner of the 2006 Forward Poetry Prize for best first collection for her volume Countries of the Body. Then she confirms that her first novel, The Pleasure Seekers, will be published in May next year. 'Writing it was mostly a pleasurable experience - but there are periods of despair you have as a novelist you don't have as a poet,' she says. 'If you hate a poem after six months, you just throw it away. With a novel, that can be a large chunk of text. It requires a kind of stamina you don't need as a poet; and with poetry you're compressing, as a novelist, expanding.' The Pleasure Seekers was inspired by a love story close to home for Doshi, one that has forced her into stressing repeatedly that the book's main characters are not whom they so obviously seem. Doshi's mother Eira is from a village in north Wales; her father Vinod is from Madras, as he still refers to it. They met while working in Toronto in 1968, after which a six-month correspondence sustained them until Eira, 21, joined her future husband and 'lived with a conservative Jain family. I found the letters my parents wrote every day but didn't tell them I was writing a novel. Now I've had to tell them it's entirely fiction and not about them. The characters bloom into something else anyway,' Doshi says. 'My mother is still in India, 40 years later. She was a spectacularly brave woman - and must have been very much in love - to do what she did. The height of going out was a movie and an ice-cream. That's what she did in her 20s; how different to my life.' Doshi's expanding job description includes the word choreographer. A dancing, blogging, fiction-writing poet? 'My back-ground is business; I had the usual aspirations,' she says. 'But business, economics, gave me no joy so I went home to Madras after seven years in the US and London. I didn't want a real job, but time to write.' There, Doshi, then 26, met fabled, 'intimidating' dancer Chandralekha, 75, who became her 'best friend, guru and mentor. She would have the most amazing people at her beach house - the likes of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Pina Bausch - and she made me so much more open to new ideas. We could talk about anything.' As part of a group performing Chandralekha's work, Doshi had to subject her body to new rigours; as well as inspiring her first collection, the physical and mental discipline acquired helped impart the personal stringency she needed to write every day. 'Poetry was my first instinct,' says Doshi. 'I had studied it at Johns Hopkins University [in Baltimore], but I wondered, how do you go about it? What do you do to pay your bills? It doesn't make any money, it's not a way to live.' Her self-discipline - at least in her professional life - showed Doshi the way; but new material or not, what of her verse now she is a novelist? 'I'm not abandoning poetry because I've written a novel,' she emphasises. 'Some poems take shape for years before they're written. The novel was like a pregnancy: now it's done I feel depleted. I'm considering more but there's no pressure. I've been carrying around my fiction notes in a plastic bag for two years,' she says. One wonders if that is the bag Doshi has with her now. 'Oh that. No, that's my shopping. I can't seem to control myself.'