Do you know Alan Tyers’ work? You can probably make your own mind up about this book if you do. Crickileaks is what you would expect from him.
The fake diary is Alan Tyers’ thing. He’s done them for Cricinfo and The Wisden Cricketer (now The Cricketer) many times before and that is what this book is, a collection of fake player diaries.
It’s basically a device that allows him to make fun of some aspect of that player’s character. Our favourites are when the subject is a little unexpected, like the Nawab of Pataudi or other historical figures such as Bradman, who is portrayed as being cricket-crazed, oblivious to others and a little bit autistic.
Less good are those that target the obvious. Harmison gets homesick, Freddie likes a drink etc. It doesn’t feel like the effort’s been put into those. We were also a little disappointed that each diary is only two pages long. That’s okay for some subjects, but others seem to fade away just as they’re getting going and the book can feel a bit flimsy as a result.
Overall, it’s good. WG Grace Ate My Pedalo is better, but Crickileaks is probably worth getting, if only for the two pages detailing the extent of Douglas Jardine’s hatred of all things Australian. That poor koala will never be the same again.