A Passion for Cricket: Insights, intrigue and humour in our great game (Paperback)
Cricket is a game played by two teams, the make-ups of which may be diverse in age, race and gender. It's a wonderful, spirited game that can often get lost in an emotional moment or an unfair event. This is what I love about our game; the unpredictability, the innate variation and unique occurrences. I wrote this book because I wanted to explore my time and experiences in the game, reflecting on what has happened over my 44 years of involvement. I am not unique, I'm just one person, and my story is repeated throughout Australia and the world by equally committed participants dedicating a lifetime to the sport we love.
I wanted to pay tribute to all the players past and present, and unsung volunteers, parents, grandparents, friends and partners, for being involved and supporting cricket at the grassroots level. The pay you receive is the appreciation of those around you for tipping out the bins, bringing in the chairs after the game, fundraising and loving your club. You are the structure and operation of the cricket world that binds it together, allowing cricketers to participate, free from administration and preparation, rewarded by a win or terrific performance. You are always there and available. This book is for you.
Gideon Haigh has kindly written the foreword for me:
A Passion for Cricket, then, is not a title chosen lightly, and its aggregation of anecdote, opinion, reflection and reportage struck an immediate chord with me. Including age, geography and starting our career in a pair of white jeans, Lachlan and I have a bit in common--not, I hasten to add, ability, as I never threatened to play at a level above the park But I've played cricket with people very like angry Dean Kann, aka 'Mr Cruel', and Alphabet, who'd rather swim an esky across a river than take the long way round on land.
A Passion for Cricket provides a unique perspective on the current cricket crisis involving Smith, Warner and Bancroft; reviews of the significant changes in test cricket; dirty deeds from Bodyline to Waugh/Warne cheating; and perspectives on some of the greatest players of our time.
There is plenty of humour: 'The old people's home'; the man who said, "He could take Tendulkar's and Kohli's wicket in the same over"; 'The explosion' and countless jokes, humorous insights and anecdotes.
One piece of commentary involves Bodyline and the uproar in Adelaide when several Australian players were struck by Larwood. The uproar was exacerbated by the losses Australians would suffer with the bets that had been placed. Hammond and Fingleton state that betting was rife and out of control. Who would bet against the Australians when they had Don Bradman on board?
One of the fascinating sections involves six paragraphs that contain the surnames of over 200 test cricketers. The cricketers represent all test playing nations - this is a challenging task to find them all.
At the end of the day, what a wonderful ride I have had playing and coaching cricket My innings isn't over. For me, there is another book in the making and many more matches to come. I love the game that has given me so much enjoyment over the years--a great result. I hope you will enjoy my stories, analysis and coaching tips. You hold the 'soul' of cricket in your hands.
"Cricket takes you places, both literally and in your dreams".