Cricket My Pleasure
Author: A.A. Thomson
Publisher: Museum Press
Rating: 4 stars
By Archie Mac
11 Apr 2006
"When I said how much I liked reading Cardus, he said 'Yes, but have you read Thompson?'(sic) I had not. He gave me a reference to a book dealer in London."
The above conversation was between Sir Donald Bradman and his biographer Roland Perry. I had heard of the writer A.A. Thomson but have never read any of his offerings, but now I knew the great man rated him, I decided to start collecting his cricket books.
As with his judgement of a great cricketer or innings, Bradman was on the money with his assessment of A.A. Thomson - an author fit to rank in the top echelon of cricket writers; up there with the greats such as Sir Neville Cardus and R.C. Robertson-Glasgow.
Cricket My Pleasure was the first of more than a dozen cricket books written by Thomson, and is a celebration of being a full-blown cricket fan or as we know them today, a 'cricket tragic'.
He traces his first interest in the game, and tries to pinpoint the moment when he was lost to the game of cricket, which appears to be the 1903-04 English tour of Australia. He goes on to talk about some of the great bowlers, batsman and matches that he has watched or heard about during his 50-year love affair with cricket.
There are many amusing anecdotes throughout the book and some great descriptions of moments in the author's cricketing life, such as the meeting with some of the greats of Yorkshire cricket (the author was a huge Yorkshire fan).
His account of the time he bowled to Gilbert Jessop (the greatest hitter in the history of the game) is simply superlative writing and reminds me of the classic cricket piece by Arthur Mailey of bowling to his hero Victor Trumper.
Some of his descriptive prose is writing of which most modern cricket authors can only aspire to, but alas their are only one or two of the 'moderns' who come even close to A.A. Thomson.
So if you want to read one of the great cricket writers at the top of his form, I strongly recommend Cricket My Pleasure.