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Thread: Cricket Books

  1. #1921
    International Debutant harsh.ag's Avatar
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    First Among Equals

    A nice write-up on growing up with cricket. I thought some people might like to read this. I am not too sure if this is the right thread to post this in, so please let me know otherwise.


    My first cricket coach, as I recall from the fond sepia memories of schoolboy cricket, used to sit our team down before the start of every match and tell us a story, a slow, but interesting tale which we hadn't heard before. They were usually success stories revolving around perseverance and teamwork. In his way, he made us all aware that we were never to lose faith in ourselves or each other. Another thing he always made us do was to figure out two strategies before the game to accentuate any weaknesses (that we might know of) in the opposing team's armor.

    This had a rather remarkable calming effect on us youngsters, and we slowly became very gracious in defeat. I think all of us understood that we had lost simply because the other team played better than us, not because of a lack of effort or strategy on our part. That's not to say we didn't mind losing, but we understood that basic tenet of life which so many grow up without learning: even if you give your best, it's not necessarily going to turn out the way you hope sometimes.

    One other important thing we learnt was to appreciate class and talent, and the unique way it manifests itself. In our ninth year, a new student named Gary Frank joined us. Gary was a very gifted batsman, the best we had ever seen in our little world. Beautiful technique, graceful stroke play, and a calm temperament. With him, we had a fantastic 14 game winning run. More than anything, he brought with him a positive aggression as a by product. He would do something wonderful with the bat, and that would somehow lift us all onto a slightly higher plane of performance. It was a great season. I remember the day we lost our winning streak, Gary, who had been left stranded on 73, went slightly berserk and ended up splitting his bat in two. It was the first time our coach allowed such behavior without interfering. After calming down, Gary apologized profusely, but our coach led him to the middle of our changing room and said," Gary Frank, everyone," and started applauding. It was the most remarkable thing, the emotions that artistry had invoked in all of us.

    I am, to this date, always skeptical of the 'temperamental genius'. For me, the genius was in the way Gary inspired us to go above ourselves without ever saying a word. For it was us, I realized later, who had won those matches, not him; but he was, as they say, the first among equals.

    - An Old Schoolboy, South Africa
    If you were that old, and that kind, and the very last of your kind, you couldn't just stand back and watch children cry.

  2. #1922
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    Hey, can anybody tell me which book(s) are a must-read in order to follow the progress of professional cricket during WWII?

  3. #1923
    Cricket Web Staff Member stumpski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquidity.Trap View Post
    Hey, can anybody tell me which book(s) are a must-read in order to follow the progress of professional cricket during WWII?
    I don't know of any book which deals exclusively with wartime cricket, but biographies of those who played before and after the war - Bradman, Hammond, Hutton and Compton - will help you fill in the gaps. Also the wartime Wisdens of course, although they're not cheap, even in facsimile (which I think they're available as now, Fredfertang will know) and finally Mark Rowe's excellent 'The Victory Tests' which has been reviewed on here.

  4. #1924
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    There is a book that is dedicated to cricket in WW2 - "The Lost Seasons - Cricket in Wartime 1939/45" by Eric Midwinter that was published by Methuen in 1987 - shouldn't be too tricky to track down a copy.


  5. #1925
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    Thanks guys. I tracked down a copy of "The Lost Seasons", Fred, and it seems to be just the thing I wanted. Appreciate the in-depth know-how. I will try and get "The Victory Tests" next.
    Last edited by Liquidity.Trap; 20-02-2013 at 07:49 AM.

  6. #1926
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    I've never liked the idea of cricket fiction, but read this one recently and it isn't at all bad - would be interested to know whether anyone else has found any decent examples over the years

  7. #1927
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Brave New Pitch

    David Mutton acknowledges in his review that this book is a tricky one to describe in a few words, but it certainly seems like a close look is merited.

  8. #1928
    jan
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    Have just finished Atherton's bio. Cant really tell what made me finish it but hats off for writing it himself.

    Now Haigh's book about Warne if I can get it cheap.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bun View Post
    Darn, at his age, I didn't know one needed to insert and ejaculate manship in womanship to create childship!
    left-handed batsman, right-arm crap bowler, dropper of sitters, grainy streams watcher

  9. #1929
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    John Arlott - A Memoir

    With this book and a not dissimilar one by Anthony Gibson both scoring highly with our reviewers, it seems his son may well the best man to write about the father.

  10. #1930
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    The West Indies at Lords

    This week one of the best writers on the game appears for the first time on CW - and yes the accompanying image is of the somewhat unusual dust jacket of the first edition.

  11. #1931
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    I've never liked the idea of cricket fiction, but read this one recently and it isn't at all bad - would be interested to know whether anyone else has found any decent examples over the years
    I think Ted Dexter wrote a cricket novel once. I have not read it but, my God, I'd love to get my hands on a copy. Chinaman is probably the best that I've encountered.

    Edit: Ah, just saw that you HAVE read the Dexter book, Martin. What is it like?
    Last edited by davidmutton; 24-03-2013 at 10:27 AM.

  12. #1932
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmutton View Post

    Edit: Ah, just saw that you HAVE read the Dexter book, Martin. What is it like?
    Dreadful

  13. #1933
    International Captain bagapath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan View Post
    Have just finished Atherton's bio. Cant really tell what made me finish it but hats off for writing it himself.

    Now Haigh's book about Warne if I can get it cheap.
    i bought it on kindle. liked it.

    gilchrist's autobio "true colors" is not as exciting as his batting.

  14. #1934
    jan
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    Havent heard a bad word about it so Im eagerly waiting for it to arrive in my mailbox.

    Guys, book on Boycott - most recommended seems to be the one by McKinstry. It was published in 2000 which is quite some time ago, any new worthy one? Cheers

  15. #1935
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan View Post
    Havent heard a bad word about it so Im eagerly waiting for it to arrive in my mailbox.

    Guys, book on Boycott - most recommended seems to be the one by McKinstry. It was published in 2000 which is quite some time ago, any new worthy one? Cheers
    There are a few on Boycott but that is the most recent and the best - and in fairness to Boycs his autobiography, imaginatively titled "The Autobiography" is a lot better than most of its type



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