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    Cricket Books

    I much enjoyed Peter Oborne's history of Pakistan cricket: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wounded-Tig.../dp/184983248X

    CMJ's autobiography, OTOH, was very disappointing. Dry, dull.

    For the peak West Indies era, I think Rob Steen's book remains my favourite: https://www.amazon.com/DESMOND-HAYNE...desmond+haynes

    #2
    Oh, I nearly started this thread in the summer after reading CLR James. Though I was going to use it to ask for recommendations. Does anyone have general history recommendations? I'm thinking victorian/early first class to begin with. Browsing bookshops there seemed to be mostly biographies.

    Has anyone read A Corner of a Foreign Field? It looks interesting on India.

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      #3
      I enjoyed Corner of a Foreign Field.

      You would like Birley’s Social History of English Cricket, which is quite definitive on the era you mention.

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        #4
        Second the recommendation for Birley.

        I've recently read Golden Boy; Kim Hughes and the bad old days of Australian cricket by Christian Ryan. Learnt a lot about a player who I essentially knew as the bloke who cried when he resigned as captain. Very enjoyable, unless you're Ian Chappell, Rod Marsh or Dennis Lillee.

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          #5
          I take it that we're all just assuming Beyond A Boundary?

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            #6
            Thirded on Birley.

            Don't read any Benaud, great commentator, tedious writer. Mihir Bose history of Indian cricket is better than you might expect from his other output.

            Anything by Gideon Haigh.

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              #7
              Mike Marqusse is almost as essential as CLR James.

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                #8
                Seconded on Wounded Tiger - read it on holiday recently and found it thoroughly enjoyable and interesting though it didn't show one of my heroes - Wasim Akram - in too great a light, though no fault of the author.

                For something different, "Penguins Stopped Play " by Harry Thompson is recommended.

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                  #9
                  Borrowed the Peter Roebuck biography from the library, not read anything about it but the Ashes series has made me interested.

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                    #10
                    It's good.

                    A few more newish books that I've liked.

                    28 Days Data, about England's "troubled relationship" with ODI cricket. Good.

                    Unnatural Selection, which goes through every England selection for donkeys years, and tries to find logic. Sounds dry and boring, but it wasn't at all to me.

                    Rebel Tours, exactly as it sounds and good.

                    Long Shot Summer, about 1988 when England had 4 test captains- in fact 5 if you include Derek Pringle who was in charge while another captain was off the field. Good.

                    Sex and Drugs and Rebel Tours. Entertaining romp through the 80s.

                    I still have some of these, and might be prepared to send them to a good OTF home.

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                      #11
                      I picked up Peter Wynne-Thomas's 'England On Tour' from the Hemswell Antiques Complex a couple of weeks ago (the only thing to do in north Lincolnshire on a Sunday). Two quid, but more importantly it was published in 1982, and I'm not that wildly interested in cricket beyond that period. Anyway, it's got reports going back to 1859 (the first overseas tour), lots of pictures and stats, and it's autographed by the author, whose name sounds vaguely familiar.

                      My sister gave me Wisden's 'At the Oval' earlier this year, which is a beautiful, dip-into book (much like the above). Add hearty recommendations for the Birley (originally recommended to me on here several years ago) and 'Corner of a Foreign Field', and also David Tossell's excellent 'Grovel! The Story and Legacy of the Summer of 1976'

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                        #12
                        I haven't read many, but one I did read many moons ago was by Frances Edmonds, though can't recall the name. About being on tour with her husband.

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                          #13
                          'Another Bloody Tour' I think it's called - have it somewhere, second hand purchase possibly decades ago now, and still unread.

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                            #14
                            I have Slipless in Settle by Harry Pearson on my 'to read' pile.

                            Ed Smith has written some good general sporting books that have been reviewed well. I'm sure he has also written some specifically cricket ones too but I've never come across any.

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                              #15
                              I’ve read Smith’s ‘On and Off the Field’ (a diary of the 2003 season where he broke in to the England side) which is very good and am part of the way through his first book ‘Playing Hard Ball’ where he compares cricket and baseball, joining the Mets for Spring Training to experience the latter.

                              Miles Jupp’s ‘Fibber in the Heat’ is a very enjoyable account of him trying to pass himself off as a cricket journalist for England’s 2006 tour of India. I may be biased there as I am a big fan of Jupp. ‘Slipless In Settle’ is typical Pearson, which is a huge positive, and I have ‘The Trundlers’ by him to read too.

                              I’ve dipped in to Oborne’s Pakistan book and Gideon Haigh’s ‘On Warne’ too and want to get deeper in to them.

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                                #16
                                'Another Bloody Tour' is awesome; knocks Botham and Gooch off their pedestals and shows them to be arseholes. Acerbic yet beautifully written. As if P.G. Wodehouse went on the 1986 tour as the sexual partner of a participant and wrote his reflections.

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                                  #17
                                  Mike Brearley's "The art of Captaincy"

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                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
                                    'Another Bloody Tour' is awesome; knocks Botham and Gooch off their pedestals and shows them to be arseholes. Acerbic yet beautifully written. As if P.G. Wodehouse went on the 1986 tour as the sexual partner of a participant and wrote his reflections.

                                    Bloody hell, quite a review. That goes straight on my Xmas list!

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                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Ray de Galles View Post
                                      ‘Slipless In Settle’ is typical Pearson, which is a huge positive, and I have ‘The Trundlers’ by him to read too.
                                      The first book is excellent, a worthy successor to his football equivalent 'The Far Corner'. Have to admit I was a bit disappointed by 'The Trundlers'; the subject topic was a bit thin and it got a bit samey the more I read of it.

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                                        #20


                                        Yay, found it. West Indies 86 tour when they got absolutely whacked. Just opened it randomly, p.108: "Graham Gooch has not seen fit to indulge me with a word of his sparkling conversation for the past two months."

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                                          #21
                                          Jeez, that cover is off-putting. Then again, I seem to remember pretty much every book in the eighties having one like it. I’m sure copies of Mein Kampf published in that era had a cheeky Bill Tidy caricature of Hitler on the front.
                                          Last edited by Ray de Galles; 04-12-2017, 12:31.

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                                            #22
                                            Phil Edmonds is a despicable human being if that makes any difference to enjoyment of his wife's book.

                                            I agree with nmrfox on both Slipless in Settle and The Trundlers.

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                                              #23
                                              Chasing Shadows: The Life and Death of Peter Roebuck is excellent so far. Started reading it last night and couldn't put out down. His upbringing and childhood was bizarre or abusive depending oin his toy look at it.

                                              Roebuck, Cronje and Wolmer all died in mysterious and unexplained circumstances at relatively the same time is one of the things to come out of the book.

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                                                #24
                                                Pearson released a biography of Learie Constantine earlier this year. Not read it yet.

                                                Bent Arm & Dodgy Wickets - Tim Quelch. England Tests from 1946 to 1959, the latter half of which was their last spell as undisputed Number 1. Only read a chapter so far. OK but nothing revelatory.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Having another look at Birley's The Willow Wand. Lots of the material found its way into his later social history, but good to read the original essays too.

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