Cricket Crossfire

Published: 1956
Pages: 174
Author: Miller, Keith
Publisher: Oldbourne
Rating: 3 stars

Cricket Crossfire

Keith Miller wrote a number of books in the 40s and 50s with lawyer come cricket book author R.S. Whitington; many years later in a forward for a Dick Whitington book Miller wrote “…as he had written six books which appeared under our joint names without any assistance from me and (I) suggested he could write one foreword” and “All of which reminds me that I must read one or two of those books of ours…sometime. I understand they are quite good”.
Roland Perry hints in his biography of Keith Miller Miller’s Luck that there was a falling out between Miller and Whitington but I have never seen it mentioned anywhere else.

After reading those six books I have little doubt that Keith Miller penned this one himself, although it certainly lacks the polish of his collaborations with Whitington, it is still overall an interesting read.

In 1956 Keith Miller was making his last Test tour of England – the series in which Jim Laker was to smash all bowling records, many of which have yet to be broken and his 19 wickets in a single Test will surely never be surpassed – so you imagine this was Keith cashing in on his fame at the time. But what ever the reasons this has become an often quoted publication.

Miller proves that not too much has changed in the game of cricket in the last 50 years; from on field sledging (although very tame as compared to modern efforts) to match fixing and ball tampering, Miller gives examples of them all during his reminiscences of cricket from the 40s and 50s.

Miller has a slight edge to his descriptive writing, even when telling amusing tales he manages to ever so subtly disparage his subject. He gives one of the rare anecdotes to suggest that Ray Lindwall was anything but the nicest of people.

Miller certainly has an eye for the interesting anecdote, and it is this ability that lifts this book above the average mundane cricket book that is often served up by players looking to cash in on their playing status.
Although not high literature I thoroughly enjoyed Cricket Crossfire and am happy to recommend it to all cricket fans.

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