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Berkmann’s Cricketing Miscellany By Marcus Berkmann

Release date: 17th July, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown

List Price: £14.99
Our Price: £11.80
You Save: £3.19 (21%)
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If you’re still basking in the warm glow of England’s superlative-defying Cricket World Cup victory over New Zealand, do yourself a favour. Go out and buy this teaming collection of yarns, anecdotes, jaw-dropping stats and often extremely funny remarks made by, or about, cricketers the world over.

Dive straight in and before long it’s likely you’ll find yourself questioning the veracity of several tales, such as the one about Jim Laker.

Berkmann tells us that after taking all 10 Australian wickets in the second innings of the Old Trafford Ashes Test in July 1956 (he took nine in the first innings), Laker set off for home.

Feeling peckish, he stopped at a pub in Lichfield, Staffordshire where, understandably, his incredible feat was the sole topic of bar-room conversation. Yet no-one recognised the unassuming chap sat in the corner, eating a cheese sandwich and drinking his pint. Laker probably smiled inwardly before finishing his sandwich and resuming his journey home while the rest of the pub’s patrons sang his praises, completely unaware of who he was.

Other stories are definitely true.

To raise funds during his benefit year, someone thought it would be a good idea to have mugs printed displaying Ashley Giles’ well-known moniker, the ‘King of Spin’. Unfortunately, the printers made a mistake; the mugs came out as The King of Spain, a nickname that has stuck ever since.

Then there’s the Australian captain who, when asked what his favourite animal was, said 'Merv Hughes'.

So incredible is some information that you’ll probably re-read a number of Berkmann’s well-researched anecdotes and occasional one-liners, including the (absolutely true) fact that Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst first played together for Essex Schools at cricket, not football.

With more than 330 pages of similar, ‘I-don’t-believe-it’ content, this is surely a contender for ‘lavatory book of the year’ (yes, such an accolade exists). You fancy that most of the people mentioned in this hugely enjoyable read would appreciate that.

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