England news April 20, 2017

Cricket Society returns the love as Nicholas takes top prize

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mark Nicholas, left, won the Cricket Society book of the year award for his memoir A Beautiful Game © Getty Images

Mark Nicholas, the cricket broadcaster, ESPNcricinfo contributor and former Hampshire captain, has won the Cricket Society and MCC cricket book of the year award for 2017.

Nicholas was named the winner in the Long Room at Lord's on Wednesday evening for his book A Beautiful Game, My Love Affair with Cricket as he became the latest recipient of an award that has been running for 48 years.

Alan Gardner wrote in his review for ESPNcricinfo: "The great strength of his style is that it is so genuine... Nicholas bubbles over with anecdotes, lore and affection for the game."

On a night where five of the six shortlisted authors spoke about their work, Nicholas paid tribute to the other shortlisted entrants, saying that "the long history of this game, its writers and its poets, is something for us to savour".

A longlist of 11 books from those nominated by either Cricket Society or MCC members was whittled down to six by a panel of judges independently chaired by writer and broadcaster and former England and Somerset cricketer Vic Marks.

The Cricket Society encourages a love of cricket through playing, watching, reading and listening. It supports young cricketers, makes annual awards, holds regular meetings, publishes an acclaimed journal and has a cricket team.

Shortlisted were:

  • Alan Butcher's The Good Murungu; Pitch Publishing
  • Graeme Fowler's Absolutely Foxed; Simon & Schuster
  • Gideon Haigh's Stroke of Genius; Simon & Schuster
  • Richard Heller and Peter Oborne's White on Green: A Portrait of Pakistan Cricket; Simon & Schuster
  • Emma John's Following On: A Memoir of Teenage Obsession and Terrible Cricket; Wisden
  • Mark Nicholas's A Beautiful Game: My Love Affair with Cricket; Allen & Unwin