Search for your sports books:

Featured Publisher: John Blake
Apart form its current publications, John Blake Publishing has a sizeable back list of acclaimed sporting titles. These include biographies of stars such as Roger Federer, WG Grace, Fernando Torres and Frankie Dettori. For more information, visit www.blake.co.uk



Read Review
<back to archive

Cricket: The Game of Life By Scyld Berry

Release date: 01st October, 2015
Publisher: Wisden Sports Publishing

List Price: £25.00
Our Price: £18.00
You Save: £7 (28%)
Buy Now

Reading former Wisden editor Scyld Berry on cricket is akin to watching a particularly dextrous potter at his wheel, skilfully moulding and caressing his raw materials, in Berry’s case, the English language, to produce something of lasting beauty. Mr Berry has been writing about the game he loves for more than four decades, but I doubt he’s written anything better than Cricket: The Game of Life, an imaginative, engrossing study of how cricket developed and why millions of people enjoy playing and watching it.

Berry’s analysis is both original and compelling. For instance, he identifies the early support of individuals such as the Duke of Wellington, or the sporting bonds formed between the British and Parsis in India as crucial to cricket’s development. Cricket, he maintains, has flourished first in hot spots and gradually woven its magic in nations across the world.

Cricket’s first hot spot was Lascelles Hall in Yorkshire, where, in the mid-nineteenth century, England’s finest team were situated. Mr Berry reasons that this unassuming, hilltop village was home to an all-conquering side because most of its inhabitants were hand weavers. The location, coupled with its industry, accounted for unusual levels of hand-eye co-ordination, agility and, as a result of tackling a rather steep hill every day, the team’s outstanding fitness.

The author also submits a novel theory which, he believes, explains how and why English Test cricketers develop.

"Very few of the 584 Test cricketers born in England and Wales have reached the top without the help of at least one of these four stepladders," he says: "1, A fee-paying school; 2, A close relative who has played either Test or first-class cricket, or will do so; 3, Professional football, with the benefits entailed; 4, Being born in Yorkshire or Lancashire where even small communities have a cricket ground. The majority of the male population of England and Wales does not fit into any of these categories. The waste has been enormous."

There are similarly inventive musings on cricket’s language, its camaraderie, statistics, its spirit and psychology before he concludes: "This game can bring together so many sections of society to play and watch… this sport can support us all. Cricket is the game of life."

Buy it.


<back to archive


Toolstation


SBOTM Current Top 10

Ali: A Life By Jonathan Eig
Simon & Schuster
Read Review Buy Now
A Clear Blue Sky By Jonny Bairstow with Duncan Hamilton
Harper Collins
Read Review Buy Now
From Orient to the Emirates The Plucky Rise of Burnley FC By Tim Quelch
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
Ascent By Sir Chris Bonnington
Simon & Schuster
Read Review Buy Now
The Way of the Runner A Journey Into the Fabled World of Japanese Running By Adharanand Finn
WW Norton
Read Review Buy Now
The Mixer: The Story of Premier League Tactics By Michael Cox
Harper Collins
Read Review Buy Now
Through Sand and Snow By Charlie Walker
Charlie Walker
Read Review Buy Now
Graham Taylor: In His Own Words By Graham Taylor
Peloton Books
Read Review Buy Now
Lillee and Thommo The Deadly Pair’s Reign of Terror By Ian Brayshaw
Hardie Grant
Read Review Buy Now
Unbreakable By Jelena Dokic with Jess Halloran
Ebury Press
Read Review Buy Now

Amazon’s top 6 best-sellers

© Sharks Media Ltd 2004 – 2012. Site designed and maintained by Marcus Hamblett for Furydesign.