CRICKET BOOKS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2014
The highlights of 2014's new crop of cricket books will surely include the second contribution to the chronicles of the game to be offered up by Chris Waters, whose debut work on Fred Trueman won numerous awards.
The Yorkshire Post journalist, whose authorised biography of Fred Trueman won both the MCC/Cricket Society and Wisden book of the year prizes, as well as best cricket book at the British Sports Book Awards, has turned his attention this time to Hedley Verity, another outstanding figure in Yorkshire's heritage of great bowlers.
10 for 10: Hedley Verity and the Story of Cricket's Greatest Bowling Feat builds a life story of the Yorkshire and England left-arm spinner, who died in 1943 from wounds sustained on the battlefield in Sicily, around the extraordinary world record bowling analysis he achieved against Nottinghamshire at Yorkshire's home ground, Headingley, in July, 1932. It will be published by Wisden in June.
Continuing the Yorkshire theme, Geoffrey Boycott is due to add more chapters to his own life story in September, when Simon & Schuster publish Corridor of Certainty, which is not his first work of autobiography but after a gap of 17 years includes much new material.
In that time Boycott received a suspended prison sentence for assault against a former girlfriend handed down by a French court and developed throat cancer, for which he was treated successfully. As well as those topics, Boycott discusses his many interests beyond cricket and some of the friendships he forged, one of which led him to write a moving chapter on the late Brian Clough, his fellow Yorkshireman.
Of course, he has much to say about cricket, and there are forthright opinions on Kevin Pietersen and the England captain, Alastair Cook, among others.
Marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of war in 1914, The History Press catalogue includes The Final Over: The Cricketers of 1914, by Christopher Sandford, due out in August, while Wisden on The Great War: The lives of Cricket's Fallen, 1914-1918, by Andrew Renshaw, has a May publication date.
Also with a wartime flavour, Dan Waddell's Field of Shadows: The English Cricket Tour of Nazi Germany 1937 (Bantam, May) tells the story of how Felix Menzel, a cricket fanatic in a country where the game was regarded in some quarters as s symbol of decadence and privilege, assembled a team and somehow obtained permission from the repressive Nazi regime to invite an English team, the Gentlemen of Worcestershire, to play them on German soil.
Chris Arnot, who delivered a fine piece of cricket nostalgia in 2011 with Britain's Lost Cricket Grounds, follows up with Britain's Lost Cricket Festivals (Aurum, May), in which he explores a non-corporate cricketing age in which the county circuit was illuminated by a series of festival weeks at traditional club grounds around the country, where spectators could enjoy the idyllic experience of watching some of the world's best players in some of the most picturesque and homely surroundings.
An intriguing title due to appear in July is Court and Bowled: Tales of Cricket and The Law (Wildy, Simmons and Hill), in which James Wilson explores instances where cricket or cricketers has been central to a legal action, building on the fact that the first recorded reference to a game called cricket (or 'creckett', as it was written) came in a court case in 1598, brought over a land ownership dispute in Guildford, Surrey.
No year of note in cricket literature would be complete without something from the elegantly astute Gideon Haigh, the Australian journalist widely regarded as the finest writer on the game currently plying his trade. His observations on the the just-completed back-to-back series between England and Australia, entitled Ashes to Ashes (Simon & Schuster), is due in the shops this week.
Already out is 150 Years of Lancashire Cricket: 1864-2014, the official celebration of Lancashire cricket club's 150th anniversary written by the Rev Malcolm Lorimer, Graham Hardcastle, Paul Edwards and Andrew Searle (Max Books)
Also coming in 2014:
Playfair Cricket Annual 2014 (Headline) and Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2014 (John Wisden & Co), (both April 10), Lord's First Bicentenary, by Philip Barker (Amberley Publishing, May), A Majestic Innings: Writings on Cricket by C L R James (reissue; Aurum, June) and Batting for Berlin, by Andre Leslie (Finch Publishing, August).
For more information or to pre-order any of the titles, visit Amazon, Waterstones or WHSmith.