Over 250 years of the finest cricket writing, by W. G. Grace, C. L. R. James, Angus Fraser and many moreThis selection of the very best, and most intriguing, writing on cricket, drawn from the mid-eighteenth century to the present day, adopts a fresh approach. It is arranged around the theme of the many things that must happen simply for a day's play to happen - from creating a clearing in a Malaysian jungle to getting to the ground - so includes, alongside writing by players both great and unknown, the perspectives of spectators, umpires, scorers and other unsung heroes of the game.
There are contributions from John Arlott, Neville Cardus, C. L. R. James and E. V. Lucas; Marcus Trescothick writes on his introduction to cricket aged three; Angus Fraser on meeting Nelson Mandela; Phil Tufnell on being shanghaied into getting a haircut by Mike Gatting; and Rachael Heyhoe Flint on being the first woman to step onto the Lord's ground as a player.
But it is the cricket itself and the outstanding players and their achievements that remain the focus - the greats of the recent and distant past involved in some of their most famous exploits.
From 'disgraceful scenes at Lord's', described by Irish writer Robert Lynd, to North America, which W. G. Grace toured in 1872, and from a match played on ice to the tropical islands of Fiji and Samoa, this is a collection that does full justice to the extraordinary breadth, diversity and enduring fascination of the greatest game in the world.
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