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Thread: Cricket Books

  1. #1891
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Being a very sad man I collect cricketing biographies and autobiographies, and it is a demonstration of just how sad I am that aside from a few recent ones that I haven't yet picked up, there is only one player whose biography I don't have (and bloody irritating it is too!)

    And I don't just limit that to one - I aim to get every book about every player, with, to stop absolute silliness, just four exceptions,

    Bradman
    Grace
    Botham
    Tendulkar

  2. #1892
    International Vice-Captain Red Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    Being a very sad man I collect cricketing biographies and autobiographies, and it is a demonstration of just how sad I am that aside from a few recent ones that I haven't yet picked up, there is only one player whose biography I don't have (and bloody irritating it is too!)

    And I don't just limit that to one - I aim to get every book about every player, with, to stop absolute silliness, just four exceptions,

    Bradman
    Grace
    Botham
    Tendulkar
    Fred, you can't tell us you're only missing one, BUT THEN NOT SAY WHO IT IS!

  3. #1893
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Sorry, that was a senior moment rather than a deliberate omission

    'tis "The Happy Warrior", a brief and apparently not very good biography of Collie Smith that was written by Ken Chaplin and published in the Caribbean shortly after his death - I've never even seen a copy let alone had the chance to buy it

  4. #1894
    International Vice-Captain Red Hill's Avatar
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    Just to clarify, are you saying you have a biography of each test cricketer (apart from Smith and a couple of recent ones)? Wow!


  5. #1895
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monk View Post
    Just to clarify, are you saying you have a biography of each test cricketer (apart from Smith and a couple of recent ones)? Wow!
    Of course not every Test player by any means has been the subject of a book, but all those that have, Collie apart, I have managed to acquire over the years, and plenty who didn't quite scale the heights of Test level as well - this is why my marriages go west

  6. #1896
    International Vice-Captain Red Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    Of course not every Test player by any means has been the subject of a book, but all those that have, Collie apart, I have managed to acquire over the years, and plenty who didn't quite scale the heights of Test level as well - this is why my marriages go west
    That's really cool. I have the start of a substantial collection, cricket books being a passion of mine. Have obtained a few new ones lately, Herb Sutcliffe, Kepler Wessels, Imran, Viv and Lara from garage sales etc.

    My wife is surprisingly tolerant of this, at this stage.

    How many biographies would you have all together?

  7. #1897
    International Coach uvelocity's Avatar
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    fred please tell me you didnt buy parabatsmen: i'll get the gatorade by d.murphy
    Quote Originally Posted by sledger View Post
    I just love all kinds of balls.

  8. #1898
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uvelocity View Post
    fred please tell me you didnt buy parabatsmen: i'll get the gatorade by d.murphy
    I ghosted that for him, so have the original parchment manuscript

  9. #1899
    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post
    Modest and understated as usual - our Archie . . . more in the mould of Archie Jackson than Archie Maclaren I would say

    While on cricket books and writers I find that there have been some really under-rated yet superb writers on the game from its players.

    Johnny Moyes who played for Southern Australia and Victoria from 1912-13 to 1920-21 may have had the first world war (1914-1919) cut out most of his cricketing years but it is a pleasure to read his books on the game. Having watched the game from the first decade of the 20th century till his death in the early sixties, he wrote with the authority on the game. His books are amongst my late acquisitions which is again due to his not being so well known and yet they are amongst those I have revisited over the years.

    An English cricketer who is similarly not known for his writing is one modern fans do not also recognise as one of the finest leg spin bowlers to come from England and in the mould of the greats Barnes and O'Reilly - Ian Peebles. Being an 'unorthodox' (for want of a more suitable word) leg spinner who did not flight the ball but propelled it from a vertical bowling arm at a very brisk medium pace, Peebles may not have pleased the traditionalists of the 20's plus he had Freeman to contend with still ha managed to play 13 Tests for England between 1927-28 and 1931 taking 45 wickets at 30.9 each. Not figures to be scoffed at although by all accounts he was a far better bowler than those figures may suggest. He also took a small matter of 923 FC wickets at 20.4 apiece between 1927-28 and 1948.

    He was also a far better writer than most people seem to know. Read them if you get a chance, particularly Johnny Moyes' Century of Cricketers, Australian Bowlers and The Changing Face of Cricket
    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post
    Talking of cricket writing. It is interesting to see who are the most written about cricketers. WG and Bradman easily head any such list. It looks as if the Don has now over taken the Doc now but the third is line, whoever it may be, is far from these two legends.

    I was making a list of pen portraits of different cricketers in my library and it is interesting to see who heads the lists. Here are the top five with the number of articles on each in my library- a couple of surprises here I bet

    1. Bradman ; 30
    2. Jack Hobbs : 25
    3. Woolley : 21
    4. WG/Miller : 17

    The others with at least ten articles are

    • Trumper/Hammond : 16
    • Sobers : 15
    • Barnes SF : 14
    • Ranji/Hutton/Lindwall : 13
    • Larwood/Boycott : 12
    • O'Reilly : 11
    • Spofforth/Fry/Grimmett/Constantine/G Headley/Bedser/Trueman/Laker/Lillee : 10 each


    That's some list of all time greats. Add the top two wicket keepers from my library - Duckworth and Evans) and you have two fabulous squads. If you find the sides a bit bowling heavy you could take the next two keepers who are both top batsmen in their own rights, Walcott and Ames.

    I mention these names also as an indicator of the players that cricket writers over the last century have felt need to be written about and clearly must be hold in very high esteem indeed.

    Of course, the amount of literature piles up over time so the current greats will take much longer to reach these figures but they will eventually. Lillee is the most recent Test cricketer in that list I think. But we will have the Richards, the Tendulkars and the Lara's in the libraries of the young fans of today when they are older
    Quote Originally Posted by Monk View Post
    A billion books will be written on Tendulkar.
    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    Being a very sad man I collect cricketing biographies and autobiographies, and it is a demonstration of just how sad I am that aside from a few recent ones that I haven't yet picked up, there is only one player whose biography I don't have (and bloody irritating it is too!)

    And I don't just limit that to one - I aim to get every book about every player, with, to stop absolute silliness, just four exceptions,

    Bradman
    Grace
    Botham
    Tendulkar
    Good stuff here, loved reading all of this. I think STR and Warne will rush up the list in the coming years and who knows there may be a cricketer yet to make his debut that will pass them all

    Peebles and Johnny Moyes are two very good writers, glad to see them mentioned here. Moyes is a bit of a Bradman fan and friend. It would have been great for cricket writing if they had a falling out. Moyes may have given us real insight to DGB. But as JM was such a gentleman he most likely would have kept it all to himself

    The other one I would like to add is Percy Fender, the tour books he wrote were so far ahead of there time. He gives balls faced as a stat years before anyone considered them important (time was considered the best measurement) his insight to the play and tactics of the captains is as good as any I have ever read
    You know it makes sense.

  10. #1900
    Cricket Web Staff Member stumpski's Avatar
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    I have Ian Peebles' autobiography somewhere. There isn't much controversy in it - he was very much an establishment figure, MCC committees and so on - but, for the time, he was quite revealing about his private life.

  11. #1901
    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpski View Post
    I have Ian Peebles' autobiography somewhere. There isn't much controversy in it - he was very much an establishment figure, MCC committees and so on - but, for the time, he was quite revealing about his private life.
    Yeah I have read it, quite amusing in places as well

  12. #1902
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monk View Post

    How many biographies would you have all together?
    I will answer this, and indeed can do so with some precision, the only reason for the delay is that that part of me that likes to think I am a normal rational human being with no OCD traits at all, doesn't want to know

  13. #1903
    International Captain watson's Avatar
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    Half way thru 'ON WARNE' by Gideon Haigh.

    I recommend it as suitable for anyone's cricket book addiction.
    Sunil Gavaskar – Len Hutton – Don Bradman – Garry Sobers – Viv Richards – Keith Miller – Imran Khan – Jock Cameron – Richie Benaud – Malcolm Marshall – Bill O’Reilly

  14. #1904
    International Vice-Captain Red Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    I will answer this, and indeed can do so with some precision, the only reason for the delay is that that part of me that likes to think I am a normal rational human being with no OCD traits at all, doesn't want to know


    Quote Originally Posted by watson View Post
    Half way thru 'ON WARNE' by Gideon Haigh.

    I recommend it as suitable for anyone's cricket book addiction.
    Got is for Xmas and read it fairly quickly. Really enjoyed it. Love Haigh's style.

  15. #1905
    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by watson View Post
    Half way thru 'ON WARNE' by Gideon Haigh.

    I recommend it as suitable for anyone's cricket book addiction.
    Good to hear. I am yet to read it, one of the reasons is because Fred is cracking the whip and wants constant book reviews. As On Warne has already been reviewed on CW I am reluctant to peruse it, instead reading books yet to be reviewed

    Just kidding Fred. I have read so many bios on Warne I am not even sure the great writer Haigh can offer too much new information. Have you previously read a bio on Warnie?



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