Ask Bearders by Bill Frindall | book review

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2 minute read

We were supposed to review this ages ago. Note to publishers: don’t push cricket stuff during the Ashes. We know it’s the cricket Christmas, but everyone’s a bit busy.

Ask Bearders is subtitled Answers to the World’s Most Challenging Cricket Questions. It’s a compilation of Bill Frindall’s columns for the BBC where he answered mostly statistical questions posed by readers.

We expected not to like it, because questions like ‘who were the first 10 bowlers to bowl a thousand maidens in Tests?’ leave us cold. While there is a lot of that, there are also a fair few decent questions and Frindall’s answers often lighten up some of the drearier ones.

To a question about an innings played by Test Match Special’s Jonathan Agnew, Frindall’s response starts: ‘No-one in their right mind should remember anything about the batsmanship of Jon Agnew.’

The book also taught us that David Lloyd’s nickname is ‘because his profile, involving a prominent probscis, is not unlike that of animation characters called ‘Bumblies’ featured in one of the late Michael Bentine’s children’s television programmes’.

Because of its format, you can’t read much of this book in one go, but it’s good to dip in and out of. We recommend keeping it in a place where you might regularly find yourself sitting down for five or ten minutes at a time with nothing to keep you occupied. We won’t name that place.

Get Ask Bearders from Amazon here.


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  1. Grow a beard and watch the obituaries. – Advice on how to make it as a BBC cricket scorer. Fantastic.

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