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Book Review
Talking of Cricket
Published: 1953
Pages: 153
Author: Ian Peebles
Publisher: Museum Press Limited
Rating: 3.5 stars
By Archie Mac
03 Oct 2007


The concept of this book would be a cricket writers dream; you can just imagine the conversation. Publisher; 'write what ever you want Ian old chap, we just need something on cricket to add to a little series of ours The Sporting Scene'.

In the end Peebles has come up with a book which is part biographical, part opinion, part fictional, part instructional, but all entertainment.

I have been saving Peebles autobiography Spinner's Yarn as a treat in my retirement, but after reading Talking of Cricket, I don't know if I can wait (plus with four children I may not be able to afford to retire).

It seems that Peebles was one of the many who believe Bradman to be a little suspect on a wet wicket, in fact he dedicates an entire chapter to a discourse on the subject. Giving a quote from Bradman that I had not previously read: 'to ask a great batsman to bat on a sticky wicket is like asking Lindrum to play on a torn table.'

On the great Frank Woolley when he was smashing the Australian Tim Wall all over the park; Wall finally went up to his captain Vic Richardson and asked 'Is it all right bowling at his off stump like this?'

'All right?' replied Vic enthusiastically. 'I should say so. We're all enjoying it.'

Some of the youngsters that Peebles thought would reach the top of Test crickets tree, did not quite make the grade, but one player he had no doubt would reach the top was the young Peter May.

Peebles is also a little pessimistic about the state of English cricket since the Second World War, but as history would show, England was destined to win the Ashes back for the first time since 1932/33, the year this book was published. As Peebles says 'cricket is indeed a funny game'.

Ian Peebles is a fine writer and I can heartily recommend this book.

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