Reviews ReviewsRSS FeedFeeds

Encyclopaedia of World Cricket

Life beyond the Test world

A worthy, reasonably priced reference on world cricket

Martin Williamson

July 22, 2007

Text size: A | A

Encyclopaedia of World Cricket by Roy Morgan (SportsBooks Ltd, 2007)
344pp, £17.99

Thanks in part to the ICC's policy of global expansion, in part to the spread of expats from the traditional cricket-playing countries, and in part to the effort of a relatively small number of passionate individuals, cricket is now played in at least 127 countries, with about 105 taking part in international fixtures.

Understandably, the bulk of media coverage concentrates on the Test-playing countries - some would argue only the main three or four - and the rest barely get a mention ... despite Cricinfo's best endeavours!

In his excellent guide to life beyond the Test world, Roy Morgan looks to correct the imbalance. In a world where the ghosted and often bland biography prevails, it's a refreshing change to read a book which will never top the bestseller lists but is necessary, informative, well researched and interesting.

The book opens with a thought-provoking essay on why the game has expanded as it has - and the reasons are not as obvious as they might seem - through to fascinating country profiles to which Morgan wisely adds colour with accounts of important matches and biographies of leading players. He also does this for major Test-playing nations as well, but trying to condense, say, Australia's cricket history into six pages and to include three famous victories by them is rather pointless. He perhaps would have been better advised to leave the Full Member countries alone and concentrate on the remainder.

It's much the same with tournaments and competitions. More on events such as the ICC Trophy and less on the World Cup proper might have been advisable, and at times there is a suspicion that some of this information is included as padding.

That might be slightly unfair, though, and the book's title makes it clear that it is about the game wherever it is played. The only thing is that there already are many in-depth accounts of the game in most of the major centres, and where Morgan succeeds is in highlighting cricket outside those.

But those criticisms - to which the absence of photographs ought to be added - should not detract from the book itself. This is an excellent, reasonably priced encyclopaedia of world cricket and adds considerably to the profile and understanding of the game.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo

RSS Feeds: Martin Williamson

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

FeedbackTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Martin WilliamsonClose
Martin Williamson Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.
Related Links

    Last ball, last wicket, and Northants' parched spell

Ask Steven: Also, Vijay Manjrekar's nickname, Abid Ali's no-ball, oldest double-centurions, and this decade's leading players

    'I ensured there was no regionalism in selection'

Couch Talk: Former India batsman Chandu Borde reflects on his career as a player, mentor, manager and selector

Lehmann enters uncharted territory

Daniel Brettig: The Pakistan Tests provide the first significant juncture of his new phase as Australia's established coach

    The man who pulled New Zealand from the precipice

Brendon McCullum's runs and leadership have rescued New Zealand cricket from its lowest ebb. By Andrew Alderson

Cricket: complex, unknowable cricket

Jon Hotten: We, as players and spectators, are finite, but cricket, utterly brilliant in its design, is not

News | Features Last 7 days

How India weeds out its suspect actions

The BCCI set up a three-man committee to tackle the problem of chucking at age-group and domestic cricket, and it has produced significant results in five years

A rock, a hard place and the WICB

The board's latest standoff with its players has had embarrassing consequences internationally, so any resolution now needs to be approached thoughtfully

Kohli back to old habits

Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala

West Indies go AWOL

West Indies may have formally played the fourth ODI in Dharamsala but their fielding suggested their minds were already on the flight back home

KP and the green-eyed monster

Individual rivalries in team sports can be productive or destructive. Jealousy may have spurred Pietersen the batsman, but at the cost of the team's image

News | Features Last 7 days