Here’s my YouTube debut. Enjoy…
Like a chanceless century compiled by a majestic batsman, Peppa Plays Cricket is an epic and beautiful innings.
Silly Point provides this title with a score of 94 not out
Following on (See what I did there?) from my recent post titled ‘Cricket Books Worth Reading’…
Here are some cricket films that are well worth watching. As was the case with books, it’s pretty much all non-fiction (Documentaries). Oh, and actually some of them are books as well…
Death of a Gentleman
For cynics of cricket’s top brass, feast on this!
Fire in Babylon
Focusing on West Indian success throughout the 1970s and 80s.
Out of the Ashes
This film charts the rapid rise of the Afghanistan men’s team… including the unceremonious ditching of their coach!
I bet that you never thought you’d watch a film about cricket and female genital mutilation did you?
Here’s the link to my original write-up…
Howzat: Kerry Packer’s War
This is actually a two-part television drama and the book that it’s based on featured in my ‘… Worth Reading’ list…
In terms of fiction, there are films such as P’tang Yang Kipperbang and Wondrous Oblivion to Watch.
Lookout for my review of Sachin: A Billion Dreams soon. Because somebody’s getting it for Christmas!!!
Here’s are some cricket books that I’ve read that I’d thoroughly recommend you do too. Some books I read before I started this blog but where I’ve already reviewed a book, I’ve provided the link.
Ed Smith Playing Hardball
There’s a great line in this book that explains the fundamental difference between baseball and cricket. It’s one that’s really good to have a handle on to understand the one of the two you’re less familiar with.
Tim Lane and Elliot Cartledge Chasing Shadows: The Life and Death of Peter Roebuck
A book bound to stir discomfort amongst some, this seems a fairly written effort of a delicate subject, a delicate life. I can’t claim to have been overly familiar with Roebuck before reading this book recently. Of course I knew the name but as I wrote in my review… I judged the book and not the man.
Christopher Lee Howzat
An insight into Kerry Packer and how he changed the face of cricket. It’s all very apt given the so many changes occurring on the global cricket horizon right now and in the not too distant past. Traditionalists may despise him but cricket would look a lot different if it weren’t for Packer or certainly wouldn’t have progressed at the same rate.
Peter Obourne Wounded Tiger: A History of Cricket in Pakistan
What’s great about this book is that you don’t just learn about the history of cricket in Pakistan but about the history of Pakistan in general. Not surprisingly, it’s an exhaustive read but one that makes me long to discover written histories of other cricket nations.
The following three books are essential reading for fans like me who long for the game to blossom outside of the Test circuit.
Tim Brooks Cricket on the Continent
Tim Wigmore and Peter Miller Second XI: Cricket in its Outposts
Roy Morgan Real International Cricket: A History in One Hundred Scorecards
There are others, some that I’ve enjoyed, others that I haven’t. You can find all my book reviews here…
I’ve currently got a stash of more bat ‘n’ ball themed books waiting to be read so look out for more reviews in 2019!
As much as I enjoy writing and would love to provide it more time with a view to enhancing the quality, I’ll admit that reviewing art of any form is an area in which I particularly struggle.
The last thing that I want to do is give anything away. If you pick up this book, presumably you have a reasonable idea of what you’re about to read, if not, the subtitle alone will give away the ending if not the very specifics.
This is not an article where I judge Peter Roebuck from what is ultimately my one and only source but advise you whether or not this book is worth reading. It is. It is thorough in its scope from Roebuck’s schooldays to his final moments and beyond, well, no less thorough than the police investigation it would seem!
This book was not written by the prosecution or the defence. It is an unbiased informative of the many phases and incidents in the former Somerset opening batsman’s life.
The Silly Point scorecard has Chasing Shadows undefeated at the close of play on… 89 not out!
I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of Simon Hughes and this book has done nothing to alter that. The writing is a little too self-indulgent for my liking. In Hughes’ defence, it’s obviously understandable that he should be inking based on his own experiences.
Hughes is clearly obsessed with Mark Ramprakash and of course he’s not alone in being so. The author also seems particularly keen to raise the profile of his daughter, a very talented cricketer according to Hughes’ unbiased opinion!
In amongst the drivel are a couple of really insightful passages, which in a perverse way are what make this book disappointing. By that I mean you must plough through a chapter or two to find interesting content. I’m possibly being a little harsh but Hughes’ onscreen persona has never endeared himself to me. He joins the long list of analysers who confirm that to have played the game doesn’t automatically make you an insightful pundit!
That said, I’ll repeat that there are one or two profound insights amongst the pages and all this adds up to a Silly Point score of…
Stumped on 59!
I never saw Graeme Fowler play cricket. He was just a little before my time but I knew the name and had heard a little about his contributions to the game and his life, so I picked up a copy of his book with my bookshop gift card that I received for Christmas.
The book focuses on three main things, they are Fowler’s playing days, his work with the University based Centres of Excellence and his mental health.
Fowler comes across as a person who backs his own opinion, a man you wouldn’t want to argue with. At the same time he’s brave enough to be incredibly open about his depression. Like any autobiography, you would hope that the protagonist would avoid ironing out the bad and only offering the good. Fowler does that.
The Lancashire native touches upon the suggestion that some have put forward, that he was fortunate to play for England when others were out of the picture for one reason or another. To that, I say “It’s not about how you get your opportunities but about what you do with them”. However fortunate he was to get the opportunity at the highest level, Fowler scored in excess of one thousand Test runs and recorded three centuries in the process. There are a lot of players who have had the chance and not grabbed it to the extent that he did. Yes there are those that have done even better but to average 35.32 in Test cricket is no disgrace.
As with the examples of other former cricketers such as Marcus Trescothick, Michael Yardy and Jonathan Trott, providing exposure to the mental health issues of international sportsmen, Fowler’s contribution can only help further people’s understanding of mental health, whether it be their own or somebody else’s.
I’ve detailed on my blog before how I think that universities could help breed competitive cricket in England, in the same way that college sport provides budding professionals in USA. Fowler has helped develop cricketers for England through the Centres of Excellence and clearly possesed an indisputable passion for his efforts.
I’m providing Graeme Fowler’s ‘Absolutely Foxed’ with an innings of:
82 not out