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Thread: Cricket Books

  1. #811
    Cricket Web Staff Member stumpski's Avatar
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    Well that was a nice gesture, I've just been reading your review by the way. I didn't mind shelling out a modest sum for it as it's one I've been seeking for a while now. The book seller in question is always at Kent's home matches (in the Championship, at least) and I usually stop by for a chat, and nearly always end up buying something. I tend to take cash rather than cheque book with me though, so I don't overstretch myself.

    Now if I could just find Stephen Chalke's follow up to Runs in the Memory, his book on county cricket in the 60s ...

  2. #812
    International 12th Man neville cardus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpski View Post
    Well that was a nice gesture, I've just been reading your review by the way.
    And you're still alive to tell the tale? Gordon Bennett.

    I didn't mind shelling out a modest sum for it as it's one I've been seeking for a while now. The book seller in question is always at Kent's home matches (in the Championship, at least) and I usually stop by for a chat, and nearly always end up buying something. I tend to take cash rather than cheque book with me though, so I don't overstretch myself.
    Now if I could just find Stephen Chalke's follow up to Runs in the Memory, his book on county cricket in the 60s ...
    If I could just find any book bearing Chalke's name...

    The depth of cricketing philistinism here is appalling. What little reading I do nowadays is entirely athenaeum-abetted.
    Last edited by neville cardus; 25-05-2008 at 06:29 PM.
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  3. #813
    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by neville cardus View Post
    Your fascination with that volume has everything to do with your haphazard mode of reading it. Had you started from the beginning, I daresay, you would have found it soporific.

    Perry has a style from which he is all but incapable of deviating. The best part of his book (based as it is primarily on scorecard exegesis) is the final chapter, in which he expounds his subject's post-playing (and scorecardless) affairs. There, at least, Perry draws considerably on the interviews of which he is so proud.

    Oh, and keep an eye out for the yarn about Braddles's refusal to smile for the shutter -- irony at its best, that.
    My 'haphazard mode of reading' also has to do with the HUGE (hundreds) of books that I buy (and have been buying for last thirty years) and the relatively little time I have had to read them till 18 months back when I decided to retire to do the things I haven't found the time to do viz reading, going to the mountains and playing cricket.

    I have too much to catch up and not too much time left in which to do it and literally dozens of books a week that I add to those I must buy

    Life was so much simpler when I had hardly any money to buy more than one book at a time (with large gaps between them), playing cricket and reading were the only things that occupied my time (studying did not extend to after school hours). I 'wasted' thirty years of my life trying to find happiness in making a successful career in the corporate world and lost precious time doing the simple things that would have given me all the happiness I would need for a lifetime.

    Then one day, my younger brother, a psychiatrist, came to India (from England where he is a Professor), saw me at work, pulled me away to my house, did a small eye-opening 'experiment' with me and 'hit me on the head with a hammer'

    I retired and am trying to catch up with lost time and am completely 'haphazard' and deliriously happy

  4. #814
    SJS
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    BTW, I have had this particular book for years and only now got round to reading bits of it

    I have a dear friend in Australia who sends me almost everything on Bradman he can lay his hands on.


  5. #815
    International 12th Man neville cardus's Avatar
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    For the record (just in case it requires amelioration), I was not being hostile -- not to you and certainly not to your reading style. It would be hypocritical of me to pelt scorn on your haphazardry.
    Last edited by neville cardus; 26-05-2008 at 01:45 AM.

  6. #816
    International 12th Man neville cardus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJS View Post
    My 'haphazard mode of reading' also has to do with the HUGE (hundreds) of books that I buy (and have been buying for last thirty years) and the relatively little time I have had to read them till 18 months back when I decided to retire to do the things I haven't found the time to do viz reading, going to the mountains and playing cricket.
    I have too much to catch up and not too much time left in which to do it and literally dozens of books a week that I add to those I must buy
    Life was so much simpler when I had hardly any money to buy more than one book at a time (with large gaps between them), playing cricket and reading were the only things that occupied my time (studying did not extend to after school hours). I 'wasted' thirty years of my life trying to find happiness in making a successful career in the corporate world and lost precious time doing the simple things that would have given me all the happiness I would need for a lifetime.
    Then one day, my younger brother, a psychiatrist, came to India (from England where he is a Professor), saw me at work, pulled me away to my house, did a small eye-opening 'experiment' with me and 'hit me on the head with a hammer'
    I retired and am trying to catch up with lost time and am completely 'haphazard' and deliriously happy
    That really is one of the most touching posts that I have ever read. As I am about to begin my thirty years' wasted life, some experimental head-to-hammer contact would probably do me good. Care to relay your psychological lessons?

  7. #817
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    My 'haphazard mode of reading' also has to do with the HUGE (hundreds) of books that I buy (and have been buying for last thirty years) and the relatively little time I have had to read them till 18 months back when I decided to retire to do the things I haven't found the time to do viz reading, going to the mountains and playing cricket.
    Thank god I am not the only one with such an ambition - as soon as my library is complete I shall give it all up and start reading them - before then SJS are you able to give any advice as to how to get out of print cricket books that are published on the sub-continent? Chopra's biog of Vishy, Baloch's memoir of Wallis Mathias and Kardar's book on the Inaugural Tests are proving impossible to find in the UK or on those corners of the net where i look

  8. #818
    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by neville cardus View Post
    That really is one of the most touching posts that I have ever read. As I am about to begin my thirty years' wasted life, some experimental head-to-hammer contact would probably do me good. Care to relay your psychological lessons?
    Okay.

    About five years ago, my brother (he is 11 years younger) came to meet me at my factory at Daman. I was spending most of my waking hours at 'work' when at the factory so he spent time with me by sitting across the table in my large cabin or at the visitors sofa kept at the far end of the room. At the end of the second day, he told me he was very worried about me.

    On my asking why he told me I was not 'living' right and doing great injustice to myself (remember he did not even mention my family).

    I told him that being a psychiatrist, he was just seeing a problem where none existed and that I loved nothing more than my work. He disagreed and asked me to get up and come with me. We went back to the company guest house where I used to stay when visiting the works.

    He gave me a piece of paper and asked me to reply in writing to whatever he said.

    Then he gave me a hypothetical situation in which he informed me that I was suffering from a terminal disease which was completely incurable. That I would die in exactly six months from that day. The good news being that during these six months I would enjoy perfect health and be able to lead a normal active life.

    Then he asked, that given this hypothetical scenario, what would I do immediately, tomorrow, next week and for the rest of the six months till my death. He asked me to think about it if I wanted and let me know the next day. But I was very clear about it ans said I could tell him right away.

    He asked me to write it down and this is what I wrote.

    1. I would immediately inform my Board of Directors of my immediate resignation from the position of the Managing Director of the Company and ask them to make arrangements to relieve me within the week.
    2. I would use that week to settle all my financial affairs, make my will, inform my close family of my decisions
    3. I would, at the end of the week, move to the mountains (a valley really) and live there for the rest of my days.
    4. I would play cricket every single day of whats left of my life.
    5. I would read all the books I have been wanting to read and haven't been able to.

    There was some other small stuff but this was the most relevant.

    My brother took the paper and said."Ok. So clearly, cricket, being close to the mountains and reading are the three greatest joys that you think life has to offer. Interesting. Tell me, when was the last time you took a 2-3 weeks holiday and went off to the mountains"

    "About fifteen years ago", I said.

    "I see, and when did you last play cricket (except in the backyard with small kids)."

    "Twenty years ago.", I replied getting an idea of what was coming.

    "And when was the last time you read a book, not a thin paper back but a big fat book from cover to cover, in a few days or a reasonable time so as to maintain your interest and do justice to your reading"

    "About ten years ago" I said sheepishly.

    "I am amazed," he said, " You seem to be saying, from what you have written on this paper that these things are so precious to you that when so little is left of your life, you will spend bulk of your time in these activities and yet in twenty years, in the prime of your life, you seem to have ignored them altogether. How come ? I don't get it"

    "Why, I just dont have the time" I protested, " My work in running my company just doesn't allow me any time"

    "But from the first point on this paper, I can see that this 'work' of yours is the least important thing in your life. Its the first thing you want to give up when time is running out and is to be rationed. Then how come you have been avoiding, for more than half of your adult life, that which clearly is the closest to your heart and squandering away your time doing that which clearly is the least .

    "Do you think that you are going to be so lucky that someone will come and warn you six months before you are stricken or die, so that you can get at least half a year of joy from living. No my dear, you will just go. Just like that...without any warning...with all these unfulfilled desires, these trips to the mountains, the pleasure of those cover drives even if in the nets and the reading of the lovely books that fill the library in your house will not be the pleasures that you will live to enjoy.

    "Chances are you will be too old to play cricket, too old to climb those mountain sides and take those long walks in the woods and who knows even your eyesight may fail you."

    "What do you think you are doing. If someone took it upon him to make you unhappy, he could not do a better job than you are doing yourself, have been doing it for such a large part of your life and, whats worse, you dont even realise it"

    It hit me on the head like a hammer.

    I decided there and then to take early retirement and while it took me a couple of years to do it, I did inform my Board of Directors within a week that I wanted to leave and the decision was irreversible. Rest was just a matter of negotiations, grooming my successor, settling my financial affairs including selling my stakes in the company which was very substantial amount of money and my inheritance for my children. I still did it at an age when I could have gone on for at leat another ten years, maybe longer.

    Thats it, my dear.

  9. #819
    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpski View Post
    Well that was a nice gesture, I've just been reading your review by the way. I didn't mind shelling out a modest sum for it as it's one I've been seeking for a while now. The book seller in question is always at Kent's home matches (in the Championship, at least) and I usually stop by for a chat, and nearly always end up buying something. I tend to take cash rather than cheque book with me though, so I don't overstretch myself.

    Now if I could just find Stephen Chalke's follow up to Runs in the Memory, his book on county cricket in the 60s ...

    I just picked up a copy, but have not had a chance to read it just yet
    You know it makes sense.

  10. #820
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    I have read all this thread now and had a good luck round the site - an impressive piece of work I have to say

    Books are my passion and that's clearly shared by a few others here so I am pleased I found you

    One book I am surprised doesn't get a mention, bearing in mind that the guvnor has adopted the Noblest Roman as his soubriquet, is Michael Down's biography of the great man - of course its much easier to write a decent sporting biography when you choose a subject, like Archie, who packed so much into his life but even taking into account it was a project that could hardly fail for that reason the chapter dealing with the victory at Hastings of MacLaren's all amateur XI over Armstrong's lot is utterly compelling

  11. #821
    SJS
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    Thank god I am not the only one with such an ambition - as soon as my library is complete I shall give it all up and start reading them - before then SJS are you able to give any advice as to how to get out of print cricket books that are published on the sub-continent? Chopra's biog of Vishy, Baloch's memoir of Wallis Mathias and Kardar's book on the Inaugural Tests are proving impossible to find in the UK or on those corners of the net where i look
    I presume you are looking for
    AH Kardar's : Soldiers of Fortune

    In UK you can but it from

    Catalyst Books
    Catsborough Cottage
    Catsborough Cross
    Monkleigh, Nr Bideford, DEV, United Kingdom
    EX39 5LE

    Tel : 01805 624056

    I am afraid I cant help you with the other two.

  12. #822
    SJS
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    Aha.

    My good friend Jeremy in Brighton, Victoria has today sent me a brand new "Art of Cricket" by Bradman. My old one was a first edition and getting in pretty bad shape. Its one of the first cricket books I owned.

  13. #823
    Cricket Web Staff Member stumpski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    I have read all this thread now and had a good luck round the site - an impressive piece of work I have to say

    Books are my passion and that's clearly shared by a few others here so I am pleased I found you

    One book I am surprised doesn't get a mention, bearing in mind that the guvnor has adopted the Noblest Roman as his soubriquet, is Michael Down's biography of the great man - of course its much easier to write a decent sporting biography when you choose a subject, like Archie, who packed so much into his life but even taking into account it was a project that could hardly fail for that reason the chapter dealing with the victory at Hastings of MacLaren's all amateur XI over Armstrong's lot is utterly compelling

    Welcome to the site Fred, I recognise your name from the Wisden site. There are some interesting threads here if you ignore all the stuff about Twenty20 and the 'who's better? Lara or Tendulkar?' (etc) types. This is one of the best but we devotees have to keep rescuing it from obscurity. I recently got round to reading the MacLaren biog by the way, some 20 years after being given it for a birthday.

  14. #824
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Thanks tailender - or should I stick to stumpski? - its a bit different here from www.wisdens.org - a nice homely little forum compared with this monolith !!

    I cant imagine there is a better thread than this here - I am a very keen collector - Wisdens too but in "the other place" too many have their Wisden blinkers on - as I have commented there how you can collect Wisden and not thereby get diverted towards the rest of the bibliography of this great game is utterly beyond me.

    Thanks for the tip on the Kardar book SJS but that one I suspect is a book about history/politics rather than cricket - the one I am after is called "The Inaugural Tests" and was an account of the first India/Pakistan series - Chris Saunders had a nice jacketed copy signed by Kardar himself a couple of years ago for 150 - sadly I dithered and it was gone - won't make that mistake again!!!

  15. #825
    RTDAS pasag's Avatar
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    Ten Great Bowlers

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