Sunday 6 August 2017

8 Cricket books which a cricket lover & spectator must have in his book-shelf

We are all familiar with Cricket. In some countries, it is not just a sport but a religion. Even in countries which do not have a cricket team, the masses love to watch Cricket.

Sachin Tendulkar, Sir Gary Sobers, Sir Don Bradman, Virat Kohli are some of the players which are epitomes of the game, the game that is capable of sweeping the people off the streets to their homes in a country when a world cup match is going on. It is considered as the second most entertaining sport in the world after association football.

Cricket has evolved a lot from the first match played in 1844 between USA and Canada at the ground of the St George’s Club till date. It has seen many generations of players, has seen more than a century and a half, and has seen many rough patches but its evolution is still unstoppable.

With time, advanced technology has found its way in Cricket too. Many things are controlled by advanced technologies like event replay for aiding 3rd Umpire decisions, ultra motion cameras, Spider cam etc.

But, one thing which hasn’t changed is the spirit of the cricket. The spirit among the cricketers and the spectators is the same, which is to watch the country they support win. 

The spirit is the same among the young lads who are aspiring cricketers, teenagers who want to pursue Cricket as their profession and contribute to their country. 

When we talk about this spirit, there often arises curiosity to learn what went on in the minds of the great cricketers when they used to be on the field defending a total in a world cup match or chasing a mammoth target, the curiosity to know how the game has changed over a period of time, the struggle of some great cricketers before they made their way to the top.

This thirst for the knowledge of the game can be quenched through books written by some of the great players and authors who were able to understand the game more than the common masses. So, here are 8 books which a cricket lover like you and me must read and have in the book shelf.

1. Playing it my way 

Sachin Tendulkar - Playing it my way

Playing it my way is the Autobiography of Sachin Tendulkar coauthored by Boria Majumdar. No one can deny the fact that a person who is familiar with Cricket will also be familiar with Sachin Tendulkar.

Sachin Tendulkar with his MRF bat broke records over records and has been solely responsible of forging a new era of the game of Cricket. However, even a prodigious person like Sachin had to do a lot of hard work to reach the annex.

Playing it my way exemplifies the hard work, dedication, and immense perseverance of the epitome of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar. The Cricket lovers admire Sachin Tendulkar ‘s long and large career but very few people know that to play for his country and for the love of the game he took more than 100 cortisone injections. The first one he took was in the year 1993 to overcome a wrist injury.

2. The Art of Cricket 

The art of cricket - Don Bradman

Sir Donald Bradman was the superstar of the early years of the game who was idolized by the batsmen across generations. With an average of 99.94, Sir Bradman would have made a perfect 100 average but fell short of just 4 runs in his last test against England at ‘The Oval’ in 1948.

Well, if you or your kid is an aspiring batsman and imagine if Sir Donald Bradman is his coach, wouldn’t it be surreal?

This is actually possible. Sir Bradman may not be present in person today but his techniques still prevail and inspire many current batsmen of the world. The Art of Cricket is one such book which describes the batting techniques of Bradman.

It is an instructional book written by Sir Don Bradman himself in 1958. ‘The Art of Cricket’ contains several diagrams which are very helpful for any young cricketer, coach or even an umpire. It contains black and white photographs too and carries a lot of detailed information on different areas of Cricket.

3.  Learn to Play Cricket 

Learn to play cricket by Mark Butcher

Learn to play cricket is an instructional book written by Mark Butcher co-authored by Paul Abraham. Every young cricketer must have this book with himself/herself. This book guides you in every area of the sport, be it batting, fielding, and bowling, even in the areas of umpiring.

The advises given by the authors can help you improve your game drastically. Coaches of the school, district or state team must also read this book in order to improve their coaching skills and impart improved and efficient batting, bowling or fielding skills to the players in making.

Handling the pressure and scoring is very much important in the game of cricket. It is very important to analyze and prepare for the situations,well in advance for example, when 15 runs are needed in 5 balls with only 2 wickets remaining and you are at the crease. Well, this book might prove useful for you to learn to tackle such situations. 

4. A corner of a foreign field – Ramachandra Guha

This book describes the plight of cricket in the colonial and post-colonial period of India. When you read this book, you come to know that Indians were not always as curious about the game as they became later. It also tells how British would use the game to get rid of the boredom and bring entertainment to themselves.

This book also talks about Palwankar Baloo who was the first talented slow bowler Indian team saw. But, the times were tough and during the tea interval he was made to sit separate from the rest of the team because he belonged to a lower caste. 

If you really want to know how the game has evolved through various times like those of independence movement and World War II then this book is the best choice.

 It will also introduce you to some of the finest cricketer of old times one of whom was Douglas Jardine, who was adored in India. It also carries some of the great anecdotes of history when the cricket haters got caught into charm of the game.

5. Rahul Dravid Timeless Steel

Rahul Dravid Timeless Steel

This book is a compilation of various articles written on Rahul Dravid, also known as ‘The Wall’.
It is a sneak peak in the life of Rahul Dravid with a word from his Kent Team mate Ed Smith, admiration from the former Indian cricketer and commentator Sanjay Manjrekar.

It also features some interviews of Rahul Dravid and a beautiful gallery of his photos. Rahul Dravid always exuded patience when it came to crisis in the game. If you have been a fan of Rahul Dravid then you should have this book in your collection.

6. Cricket’s greatest rivalry

Cricket's Greatest Rivalry

If you are familiar with Ashes then you must have an idea that it is just not the name of a cricket tournament between Australia and England, it is also the name of a 135 years old rivalry.

And imagine a book written on 10 series of Ashes. This book ‘Cricket’s greatest rivalry’ depicts several anecdotes of Ashes including the last test of Sir Donald Bradman in 1948, the bodyline bowling introduced by English players under the captaincy of Douglas Jardine and many more.
The book is very enjoyable to read particularly for Cricket historians.

7. Cricket: The game of Life – Scyld Berry

Cricket:The game of life - Scyld Berry

A lovely book by one of the great writers of Cricket, Scyld Berry. He does an awesome job in this book by highlighting the evolution of the game by focusing on countries like England, Australia, India and West Indies.

Very few people know that in India Cricket was forged as a result of a healthy relationship between the English and the Parsi community. This book throws light on the history of cricket which is evident because of the mention of the Kent v England Match in 1744, it is the first cricket match in the entire history of which a match report and stats still exist.

Also, in this book there is a mention of the Parsis and the GF vernon’s XI held at the Gymkhana ground in Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1890. Another book which a cricket lover, who is curious to know about the game, must have in his/her collection. 

8. The Art of Captaincy – Mike Brearley

The Art of Captaincy  - Mike Brearley

‘The Art of Captaincy’ has been written by one of the best captains of English cricket Mike Brearley who led his team to victory in Ashes in 1981.

 This book is a must read for all the young cricketers who want to be captains and even those young men who are leading their school, college or even the street team.

The book teaches on various challenges encountered by a captain of the team. The book contains a couple of chapters on field placements too and surely can prove useful for a captain or a coach seeking effective team management. 

Wrap Up

Cricket helps you in many ways. It helps you bounce back when the odds are against you. It makes you love your country more & more. It helps you develop a different perspective altogether. It makes you rise above the social boundaries, racism, creed, caste and put together everyone in a single zone of hope when it comes to supporting your team.

A Cricket world cup brings cheer and ecstasy to life when the trending topic for more than a month is nothing but scores of Australia vs New Zealand or South Africa vs England matches. 

Cricket has often been watched on TV but reading about it through books will add value to your perspective.

You will come to know the facts which have been unknown till now by reading books on Cricket. You might know what went in the mind of the captain in the last over of the world cup final match when he had 12 runs to chase. These things are precious and may add a lot when you decide strategy in any area of life.

So which books out of these 8 have you read? Do you want to share the names of any other books not mentioned here?


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