Cricket, Lovely Cricket- Lawrence Booth

If Lawrence Booth did not grow up loving cricket and writing about it, he would in all certainty been an expert tight-rope walker or a sharp-shooter. The deduction has been drawn from the sense of balance that he lends to the book ‘Cricket, Lovely cricket”

 

He shifts seamlessly from being a romantic in the introduction to straight talking in the chapters that follow. He cleverly demarcates the things that run in an average fans mind into chapters

 

Being as far away from the fan as he is from players, he is at a perfect position to explain the intricacies to both the parties. It’s as much a players handbook as it is of help to the fans

 

Perhaps the best part of the book comes when he describes the discussion with Jeremy Snape and concludes that “ Instincts can be honed with regularised practice”

 

Another chapter that holds your attention is the part where he is talking about the teams and how the reputation precedes them. For example, England is always pessimistic and self-deprecatory. Australia is the team that  makes things happen on a cricket field. India, while being mercurial on the field can be poor travellers

 

He does not hold himself in high esteem as a batsman and hates when publications go overboard with the cricket jargon

 

He minces no words in stating that India is the powerhouse of cricket, financially and followers-wise too. Perhaps a large part of his understanding the fan’s psyche comes from doing the OBO

 

Coming as it did close to the first season of IPL, he was right in predicting that IPL will test the players loyalties with Morgan actually doing what he predicted back then, this season

 

The book is certainly a treasure-trove of nuggets and would keep you entertained. A sampler of one of the nuggets

A journalist was looking to interview Curtly Ambrose and sought Viv Richards to help. Ambrose comes out and says “ If you want to talk to Viv, talk to Viv. If you want to talk to Curtly, talk to Curtly”. “In that case”, the journalist asks “Can I talk to Curtly?” No, comes the reply

 

Sometimes it makes an average reader run for the dictionary with usage of terms like obfuscate, anorak etc

 

A book that can be completed in one read without actually us putting a lot of thought into it. A sure recipe for a success then

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