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WINNER OF THE CRICKET BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD AT THE CROSS BRITISH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS 2017 WINNER OF THE MCC/CRICKET SOCIETY'S BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2017 Mark Nicholas, the face of Channel 5's Cricket on Five and anchor for Channel 9's Test commentary team in Australia, has a unique knowledge and perspective on the world of cricket. As both a former player and now a professional observer and commentator on the game, he knows all the key figures of the sport and has witnessed first-hand some of cricket's greatest moments. His book is a personal account of the game as he's seen and experienced it across the globe. From epic test matches and titans of the game like Lara, Warne and Tendulkar, to his own childhood love for the sport, Mark gives us his informed, personal and fascinating views on cricket - the world's other beautiful game.
Scyld Berry draws on his experiences as a cricket writer of forty years to produce new insights and unfamiliar historical angles on the game, along with moving reflections on episodes from his own life. The author covers a range of themes including cricket in different areas of the world, and abstract concepts such as language, numbers, ethics and psychology; Scyld Berry relishes the joys cricket provides and is convinced of the positive effect it can have in people's lives. Cricket: The Game of Life is an inspiring book that reminds readers why they love the game and prompts them to look at it in a new way.
It's one thing to be 14 years old and a loser. It's one thing to be the class swot, and hopelessly infatuated with someone who doesn't know you exist. But what kind of teenager is besotted with an entire sports team – when the players are even bigger losers than she is? In 1993, while everyone else was learning Oasis lyrics and crushing on Kate Moss or Keanu, Emma John was obsessing over the England cricket team. She spent her free time making posters of the players she adored. She spent her pocket money on Panini stickers of them, and followed their progress with a single-mindedness that bordered on the psychopathic. The primary object of her affection: Michael Atherton, a boyishly handsome captain who promised to lead his young troops to glory. But what followed was one of the worst sporting streaks of all time – a decade of frustration, dismay and comically bungling performances that made the English cricket team a byword for British failure. Nearly a quarter of a century on, Emma John wants to know why she spent her teenage years defending such a bunch of no-hopers. She seeks out her childhood heroes with two questions: why did they never win? And why on earth did she love them so much?
Today Victor Trumper is, literally, a legend - revered for deeds lost in time, a hallowed name from the golden era from before the moving image began to dictate memories and Bradman reset the records. In life, Trumper was Australia's first world beater - at his peak just after Federation, he was not just a cricketer but an artist of the bat, the genius of a new era, a symbol of what Australia could be. Crowds flocked to his club matches, English supporters cheered him on in Tests, and at his early funeral in 1915 - even amidst the grief of war - mourners choked the streets of Sydney. Trumper lives on, not just as the name of a stand at the SCG, or a park near his former home ground. He lives in an image that captures him mid-stroke: a daring player's graceful advance into the unknown, alive with intent and controlled abandon. Reproduced countless times in cricket books and pavilions around the world, it conjures an era, an attitude - cricket's first imaginings of itself - and encapsulates the timeless beauty of sport like none other. If Trumper is a legend, George Beldam's 'Jumping Out' has become an icon. But that image has almost paradoxically obscured the story of its subject. Man and photograph have entranced Gideon Haigh since childhood, and in Stroke of Genius he explores both the real Victor Trumper and the process of his iconography. Together they inspired a profound moral and aesthetic revaluation of the game, and changed the way we think about cricket, art and Australia. In this inventive, fresh and compelling work of history, Haigh reveals how Trumper, and Beldam's incarnation of his brilliance, are at the intersection of sport and art, history and timelessness, reality and myth.
With riotous stories of life on England tours, partying with Ian Botham and Elton John, combined with a moving account of his battle with mental-health issues, Graeme Fowler's Absolutely Foxed is a cricket memoir unlike any other. Seen by many as a maverick, happy-go-lucky figure, Fowler became a hugely influential coach, and is one of the most original thinkers about the game. He's battled and won against the best spinners in India, and the fastest bowlers from the West Indies - he's even found himself at the centre of a tabloid storm. In this book, he looks back over his 40 years in the professional game, spending 16 years on the county circuit with Lancashire and Durham, and three years as an England international - a period that was cut short by a life-threatening injury. He followed that with a spell working on Test Match Special, before running the Durham Centre of Excellence for 18 years. Alastair Campbell provides an Afterword in which he commends Fowler's support for others suffering from mental-health problems; Fowler's own experiences should provide help and inspiration for those dealing with similar problems. In his Foreword, lifelong friend Sir Ian Botham describes Fowler as 'one of the gutsiest I ever encountered', but also points out how he 'made a dressing room tick'. Those elements of courage, knowledge and humour are all present in Absolutely Foxed - a truly unmissable read.
Cricket has an alarming suicide rate. Among international players for England and several other countries it is far above the national average for all sports: and there have been numerous instances at other levels of the game. For thirty years, celebrated cricket author David Frith has collected data on this sad subject. Silence of the Heart is his compelling account of over a hundred cricketers - involving top names from the past hundred years - who have taken their own lives, with an explanation of factors that led to their premature deaths. Can the shocking rate of self-destruction among cricketers be reduced? Can those who run the game do something to save its participants from this dreadful fate? These are among the questions addressed within this catalogue of biographies. But the key question is whether cricket itself is to blame for its losses - or is that this summer game attracts people of a melancholic and over-sensitive nature? Stoddart, Shrewsbury, Gimblett, Bairstow, Trott, Iverson, Robertson-Glasgow, Barnes . . . There remains a sense of disbelief that these high-profile cricketers killed themselves. And many more cases are examined in this extraordinary book, which comes crammed with detail, is not devoid of humour, and must rank among the most intricately researched volumes in cricket's extensive library. With a foreword by former England captain Mike Brearley, now a psychotherapist, Silence of the Heart is a startling investigative narrative covering the phenomenon of cricket's unduly high level of suicide.

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