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Haigh scoops British Book award

ESPNcricinfo staff

May 22, 2013

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Shane Warne poses with a statue of himself unveiled at Melbourne Cricket Ground, December 22, 2011
The story of Shane Warne provided Gideon Haigh with plenty of material for his award-winning book © Getty Images
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On Warne, Gideon Haigh's examination of one of the finest bowlers to play the game, was named the Cricket Book of the Year at the 11th annual British Sports Book Awards at Lord's on Monday.

Haigh tells the tale of Shane Warne's scarcely-fathomable talent, his pivotal cricket relationships and noteworthy controversies. He also breaks down Warne's practically perfect bowling action, each element assessed, and the mental games Warne played, and invariably won, with batsmen.

The book was selected from a shortlist which included Chris Waters' biography of Fred Trueman, Simon Wilde's Ian Botham: The Power and the Glory and Graeme Swann's autobiography.

"As a cricket lover, I feel very blessed to have lived in Shane Warne's era; as a journalist, I feel immensely fortunate to have had him as a subject," Haigh said in a message to the ceremony, having been unable to attend.

"Some of his luck now appears to have rubbed off on me. The British Sports Books aren't quite the Ashes, but for a writer they're getting close. I won't be defeatist and say that this is the best cricket result an Australian will obtain this summer. But for me it's a very happy one."

On Warne is now put to an online vote, along with the winners of 10 other categories, to find the Sports Book of the Year. Voting for the award opens on May 22 at www.britishsportsbookawards.co.uk and closes at midnight on June 7 with the winner announced three days later.

Christopher Martin-Jenkins was also recognised for his career in a posthumous tribute. His widow Judy and son James were present to accept copies of Wisden signed by Ian Botham for Christopher's outstanding contribution to sports writing.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (May 28, 2013, 12:20 GMT)

I am a great fan of Gideon's work but this was certainly not one of his best efforts. I am really surprised he won the award with this book. Perhaps there was a notable lack of insightful cricket literature this year

Posted by   on (May 26, 2013, 22:16 GMT)

I was a tad underwhelmed by this book. Not the usual insightful standard I've come to expect from Haigh. He writes himself into the narrative too often. I also get the impression he did most of research by reading and referencing articles and books rather interviewing people himself. Not enough oral history!

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 19:31 GMT)

Make that 5-0 @hedleyverityisgod

Posted by hedleyvertiyisgod on (May 22, 2013, 15:39 GMT)

Gideon is a great writer and decent bloke, met him in Brisbane on the eve of the test match 2006 , rubbish at predictions wrote in my copy of his book 2-1 . It was 4-0 !

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