This anthology is a tribute to the finest writers on the game of cricket and an acknowledgement that the great days of cricket literature are behind us. There was a time when major English writers - P. G. Wodehouse, Arthur Conan Doyle, Alec Waugh - took time off to write about cricket, whereas the cricket book market today is dominated by ghosted autobiographies and statistical compendiums.
The Picador Book of Cricket celebrates the best writing on the game and includes many pieces that have been out of print, or difficult to get hold of, for years. It is also truly international in its selection. The older cricketing nations such as England and Australia are well represented here. But so are the countries where the game is followed with the greatest passion - India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and, above all, the West Indies. There are even pieces on a Fijian batsman and an American fast bowler. The book's gallery of great writers includes Neville Cardus, C. L. R. James, John Arlott, V. S. Naipaul, J. B. Priestley, Jack Fingleton and C. B. Fry.
This definitive anthology is a must for any cricket follower or anyone interested in sports writing elevated to high art.
Born in Dehradun in 1958, and educated in Delhi and Calcutta, Ramachandra Guha pursued an academic career for ten years before becoming a full-time writer and regular on the global lecture circuit. He is also an internationally-renowned cricket journalist, editor of The Picador Book of Cricket and author of the prize-winning A Corner of a Foreign Field: The Indian History of a British Sport. He lives in Bangalore.