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The Cricket Society and MCC Book of the Year Award shortlist has been announced, with biographies of Imran Khan and Harold Larwood and a historical perspective on South African cricket included in the five-book list.
Vic Marks, cricket correspondent for The Observer, chairs the panel of judges and said: “There is a strong international theme to this year’s list. All five books have their advocates among the judges and I anticipate frank and lively exchanges when we meet later this month to determine a winner.”
The competition, run by The Cricket Society since 1970 and in partnership with MCC since 2009, is for books nominated by members and not publishers and has become highly regarded by writers and publishers. Previous winners have included Mike Brearley, EW Swanton and David Frith.
The £3000 prize, will be presented at an awards evening in the Long Room at Lord’s on Monday 26 April to an expected sell-out audience of 200 people. Scyld Berry, editor of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, claimed the award three years ago and will be a keynote speaker at the event.
• Of Didcot and the demon: The cricketing times of Alan Gibson; by Anthony Gibson, Fairfield books • Harold Larwood; by Duncan Hamilton, Quercus Books • Empire and cricket: The South African experience, 1884-1914; edited by Bruce Murray and Goolam Vahed, Unisa Press • Golden boy: The bad old days of Australian cricket; by Christian Ryan, Allen and Unwin • Imran Khan: The cricketer, the celebrity, the politician; by Christopher Sandford, HarperCollins
The other nine books on the longlist:
• The captains’ tales; by David Fulton, Mainstream Publishing • Inside the box, my life with Test Match Special; by Peter Baxter, Quiller Publishing • Cricket in the park; by Roger Packham, Methuen • From Sophia to Swalec: A history of cricket in Cardiff; by Andrew Hignell, The History Press • And God created cricket; by Simon Hughes, Doubleday • Testing times: In pursuit of the Ashes; by Andrew Strauss, Hodder and Staughton • John Shepherd, The loyal cavalier; by Paddy Briggs, ACS • Cricket grounds from the air; by Zaki Cooper, Daniel Lightman and Ian Hay, Myriad Books • From commons to Lord’s, Volume 1: 1700-1750; by Ian Maun, Roger Heavens