Cricket books for Boxing Day Test Eve

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We know that many of you like to pass the time on Boxing Day Test Eve by giving people presents. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the better cricket-themed books on offer this year.

These are just some of the newer ones. Take a look at the book review section of the site to find older stuff.

Fire in Babylon by Simon Lister

In an unusual inversion of the normal rules governing adaptations, this is the book of the film. Inspired by the documentary of the same name, it focuses on the West Indies during the Seventies and Eighties. The Guardian describe the book as a ‘near definitive’ attempt to describe and understand one of the finest sports teams ever. Buy it for someone young who thinks the Windies have always been crap.

Kevin Pietersen On Cricket

We wonder how much the score-settling previous book will put people off this one. If you’re able to forget about KP: The Autobiography, this one seems much more interesting as a cricket fan. There was an extract in The Guardian which gave a good idea what it’s all about.

It’s about cricket.

We don’t mean in the sense that it’s all ‘then we played Australia and I made 158’. Presumably there’s a bit of that in there, but it’s more about the mechanics and psychology of the sport – you know, the timeless, interesting stuff. That extract about Warne picks apart the bullshit and the bluster, but also sees the value of those things.

Actual analysis is something you don’t often get in a sporting autobiography. This genuinely seems quite promising and reviews have been broadly positive.

Test Cricket: The unauthorised biography by Jarrod Kimber

We’ve not read this yet and in fact only found out it existed the other day. We’re assuming Jarrod wouldn’t have written something rubbish, so definitely worth a look.

Last in the Tin Bath by David Lloyd

Essentially a straightforward sporting autobiography, but with the benefit that the subject has seen cricket from more angles than most. Quirky enough to be genuinely amusing in places as well. Here’s a full review.

You can find more of our cricket book reviews and recommendations here.

If you’ve any recommendations of your own, stick ’em in the comments and we’ll maybe try and add them to the article before the daily email goes out later on.


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  1. Not new, but A Lot Of Hard Yakka by Simon Hughes was very entertaining with several laugh out loud anecdotes – particularly re Gatting’s eating habits. For light reading.

    1. We’ve still never read that. Simon Hughes confuses us. He can seem like two different people. We like one and not the other.

      1. I know what you mean about Simon Hughes seeming like two different people. I think the same about Matthew Hayden and Nelson Mandela. Freaky.

      2. Why, STD, change your avatar at this, of all times of the year? If there was ever a better time for a dancin’ turd tree burglar, I’ve yet to hear of it. And yes I am fully aware I look like said tree having gone cold turkey after a week or more on the sauce.

      3. People’s descriptions of their own avatars are among our favourite aspects of this site.

  2. Sorry to ‘book-end’ this filler article with real cricket, but India in reaching 216-7 have already made the highest score of the series against SA, and at present all ten innings in the preceding ODI series yielded more runs than this. This fact won’t last for long – get it while it’s hot.

  3. Due to overwhelming public support from Zebedee-Tree-Dancer I have parked the whole avatar moaning minnie thing. We should accept our lot and count our blessings we are not a Proteas fan who shelled-out copious Rand to watch their annihilation by India.

    As this is in the third person, Matt Prior advises I can renege as and when it suits.

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