Cricket On This Day

Cricket is most popular in those parts of the world where the English have had the most influence which probably explains why it has never really taken off in Scotland or the United States of America. Yet cricket at various levels is played around the world in countries such as Denmark and Japan where you would least expect the last game of the gentleman to proliferate. One only has to consult that yellow-jacketed bible of the sport Wisden Cricketers' Almanack each April to read accounts of the sport internationally.

Cricket encompasses every aspect of the human condition. In this book you will read tales of sporting excellence, bravery, jealousy and derring do on and off the square. Cricketers have fought and died in the battlefields of the First and Second World Wars as well as losing their lives in 9/11 and the Bali bombs - a gentleman in white flannels is even a prime suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders. Cricketers have been murdered on golf courses and in the homes of madwomen. They have come under terrorist attack on the way to a Test ground. They have committed suicide because of financial and mental problems. In fact there is virtually no area of the human condition that a cricketer has not participated in.

This small book is not intended to be a history of cricket but it will hopefully find favour with cricket fans young and old as they dip into stories about cricketers past and present. The book can be read in one sitting or dipped into at will or even used as a quiz book during the lunch or tea intervals or those interminable times in English summers when bad light or rain stops play. If you intend to use it as quizbook then these posers might get you started:

  • Which wicketkeeper walked on 97 and never made a Test century?
  • Who was the medical cricketer who was murdered by his mistress after he tried to break off their affair?
  • Which fast bowler failed to see off the massed ranks of Dad's Army?
  • Which monarch professed his dislike of cricket: "It was the fielding I could not get used to"?
  • Did a commentator really announce "The batsman's Holding, the bowler's Willey?" What about "Lillee, caught Willey, bowled Dilley"?
  • Who was the fast bowler who when batting would suck a lemon between strokes and spit in the wicketkeeper's eyes if he thought the appeal unjustified?
  • Play at which English ground was held up for an hour because of the intense heat - in 1868?
  • Were ringers only introduced into Indian cricket in recent years or is it a more ancient art?
  • Who was the first man to be knighted for services to cricket?
  • When was the first County Championship match to be rained off?
  • Who was the first player to be capped by three different counties?

"A whole year's worth of fascinating anniversaries from an endlessly fascinating game!"

 Rory Bremner