Don'ts For Cricketers
Publisher: A & C Black
Rating: 3 stars
By Archie Mac
06 Jul 2013
It is always annoying and a little sad when the name of an author has been lost to time. Thus is the case with this little gem of a book. Don'ts For Cricketers
is the only book out of the hundreds we have reviewed on Cricket Web for which we cannot supply an author. Whoever he was he certainly wrote an entertaining publication.
The "Don'ts for" series features amusing "Don'ts" for a variety of groups including: Wives, Husbands, Dancers, Mothers, Weddings and Golfers. We have the cricket version here for review. Little is known of the original Don'ts For Cricketers
except it was first published in 1888 and again in 1906. The book does not even feature in the pages of cricket's bibliography Padwick, a fact that will no doubt annoy the fastidious Stephen W. Gibbs who produced Post Padwick in 2008.
There are some humorous offerings in this little book, my favourite was "don't worry if you have no field suitable for silly point : choose the fattest man for nature makes it impossible for him to get out of the way of a hard hit".
Reading the above extract was a genuine lol moment for this reviewer but it begs the question was this supposed to be humourous? Judging by the rest of the book this is doubtful and I would like to think that this was considered practical logic in 1888.
The other piece of advice that amused me was "don't leave the wickets until the umpire's 'out' is heard. The arm may go up in the air involuntarily : or the umpire be surprised into a spasmodic upward arm-jerk; but a good honest 'out' can never be doubted".
The above may give an insight to how umpires gave players out 125 years ago. Suggesting as it does that the umpire always gave the dismissed batsman a verbal as well as a hand signal, when giving him his marching orders.
After reading this little book, I have since tracked down a few of the other titles but am yet to procure the Don'ts For Golfers. However thus far I think Don'ts For Cricketers
easily the best of the series, but perhaps I am biased. I just wish we knew who the author of this little book is. An ideal thankyou gift for the cricket fan in your life.