The Superior Cricket Watcher

Published: 2005
Pages: 128
Author: Whimpress, Bernard
Publisher: Axiom Australia
Rating: 3 stars

The Superior Cricket Watcher

The alarm bells should have sounded as soon as I read the small type above the book title The Superior Cricket Watcher’s Ashes Quiz Book.

Still, I thought “I know my Ashes, so how hard could it be?”

I did start to worry though when in his preface Bernard Whimpress told the reader “the idea behind the framing of the questions is for the Intelligent Cricket Watcher to score something like 5 out of 10 on particular topics” and “perhaps a Superior Cricket Watcher might be expected to score 7 or 8 out of 10 but any more than that and he or she should be doing their own quiz book”.

Well, I will not be writing my own quiz book as I only managed to score 67.45% or 371 out of 550 (yes I kept meticulous records). The author suggested the quiz would ideally “be sampled a bit at a time, with friends over ports or pints”. Well I decided to start the quiz at the same time as the Boxing Day Test, and what with changing DVDs over for the kids and lunch, I finished about an hour after stumps at 7.30pm.

I will have to be honest. This is one tough quiz book, and should not be attempted by the novice – I was a little disappointed in the fact I was unable to score a perfect round in any of the quizzes. My best effort was the Bodyline section where I managed to score 19/20. I should confess that I had just recently completed Bodyline Autopsy by David Frith. Even these questions were tough, the usual Bodyline questions are: Who captained England in the Bodyline series? Or who was the England bowling spearhead? Not in this quiz – here is an example: Who said of Jardine “He might win us the Ashes and lose us an empire”?

The quiz itself is very well set out, and in fact I only picked up one mistake in the whole publication, which is a great achievement in a book of 550 questions. On the whole I do agree with Bernard Whimpress that the book should be perused a little at a time. Ideally I would suggest with one reader and about four cricket tragics gathered around a table, this should lead to some good-natured arguments.

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