Sports

Cricketing Allsorts

Written by Omair Alavi

The book will keep you engrossed late into the night or even early into the morning because of its un-put-down-able nature

We all know that cricket is a funny game, but the extent of its comedy can only be judged from a well-researched cricket book that handles the unthinkable. Jo Harman’s Cricketing Allsorts – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (and the Downright Weird) is probably among the best books about the game you will ever read. Why? Because it talks about the Good, the Bad and the Ugly things of the game, in pure Clint Eastwood style – on target, takes less time and above all, without mincing words.

The book not only offers a lively portrait of the game, it highlights the quirky side of some of the players to don whites, and celebrates their oddities both on and off the ground. Players from around the world are discussed here in such a manner that you find yourself glued to the pages as if you are watching Brian Lara bat, Wasim Akram bowl or Jonty Rhodes field. The narration is anything but serious and at times you would laugh out loud because of the way the author (and his team of writers) has penned it. They have used cricket terminology the way they should be used. They have even criticized some players like Mohammad Amir for ruining his career, Ishant Sharma for wearing jewelry heavier than his body weight and Kevin Pietersen for shooting himself in the foot, through his actions of course.

If you didn’t know about Viv Richards’ two-year suspension before he made his Test debut, Hanif Mohammad’s confusion when he was batting on 498, the reason behind Mike Gatting’s eventual removal from captaincy and Sir Garry’s unique case of two extra fingers, then look no further. Get your hands on this wonderful book of lists that guides you through some of the most interesting things that have taken place on the cricket ground, or beyond. It is divided into four segments: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Downright Weird. Each segment has ten or more chapters, discussing incidents you might or might not have heard about. They can be from the early days of the game, to the modern PJ era, but one thing is certain, if it’s interesting, it’s in this book. It tells you that:

It was an Indian cricket Captain who owned seven Rolls Royce, the most by any cricketer.

A famous Hollywood actress once saw a match at Lord’s, between England and the West Indies. A West Indian batsman used to wear a wristwatch while batting to intimidate the fast bowlers.

A princess from the Royal family dated Australian batsman Keith Miller.

An Indian opener scored a century on Test debut because he was batting with his idol’s bat.

A Zimbabwean cricketer twice went to see President Robert Mugabe, and was sent back from the gates. If these facts don’t interest you, I don’t know what will. This book is full of such anecdotes which are made memorable with accompanying photographs. Be it cricket’s love affairs (or bromances), the greatest bowling partnerships, memorable fictional characters or most iconic fashion statements, everything is in these 280 pages. Not only do you get to read about cricket dynasties, famous comebacks, and soldiers who continued to play despite setbacks, you also find out that the game had fans in tennis star Roger Federer, US President Barack Obama, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Cricketing All sorts is not your average cricket book; it is an engaging way to know more about cricket. Filled with wit, humour, and suspense (of turning the page), it will keep you engrossed late into the night or even early into the morning because of its un-put-down-able nature. It might not be the best way to learn the game, but it could definitely prove to be the perfect gift to a friend, great addition to your library and above all, must-have for the fan of the game.

About the author

Omair Alavi