Reviews ReviewsRSS FeedFeeds

Cricinfo Guide To International Cricket 2008

New names, new faces

If the bombardment of matches leaves you wondering if it's Stuart Broad or Mitchell Johnson running into bowl at Upul Tharanga or Dinesh Karthik then this is the ideal viewing companion

Andrew McGlashan

October 28, 2007

Text size: A | A

Cricinfo Guide To International Cricket 2008 edited by Steven Lynch (John Wisden & Co Ltd, 272pp) £8.99 (AUS$19.95, IND Rs295)

Depending on how many satellite channels you have access to and how much you regard sleep as an irrelevance, there will be times over the next few months when it's possible to watch wall-to-wall cricket. The players may not be pleased with the crammed schedule, but there has never been a better time to be an armchair fan.

However, if the bombardment of matches leaves you wondering if it's Stuart Broad or Mitchell Johnson running into bowl at Upul Tharanga or Dinesh Karthik then The Cricinfo Guide to International Cricket 2008 is the ideal viewing companion. This is the second edition of the book, and like the first it includes profiles of the leading players from each Test nation along with a range of statistics from Cricinfo's extensive database.

Last year the quality of the player pictures and paper slightly let the finished product down, but in this edition both have been improved and the book has the "feel" of a weightier product. The standard of writing wasn't in question and it remains high, with a range of insightful and colourful profiles. The design and layout are sharp, with the players organised alphabetically and also indexed in their countries.

With the explosion of one-day internationals between Associate nations, the most useful new feature is the general overview of each of these teams and a summary of their major players. After not playing Tests since 2005, Zimbabwe have been downgraded from individual profile status to an Associate-style round-up. Only time will tell whether they move back up the pecking order.

There is more to the book than profiles. Another new section is a run-down of the ICC officials - so you will know who you are screaming at for that dodgy lbw - although one notable omission is Darrell Hair, who doesn't even warrant a mention in the list of international panel umpires, although the time frame with regards to his hearing wasn't in favour of the book's publishers.

Also available is a quick-reference stats section for each country, with the main facts and figures, such as most runs and most wickets. This can be used in conjunction with the "Marking your card" page at the front of the book, which outlines ten milestones "that should be reached" and ten "that might be".

A final point. The man on the cover, at least for the England and Australia versions, is Monty Panesar. Last year the chosen one was Andrew Flintoff. If Monty has 12 months to match the year endured by Flintoff, we may just have seen the birth of another cover-jinx among cricket annuals.

Buy now from Cricshop

Andrew McGlashan is a staff writer at Cricinfo

RSS Feeds: Andrew McGlashan

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Email Feedback Print
Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.

    'Lara v McGrath was a great battle of our generation'

Dravid and Manjrekar discuss Brian Lara's adaptability

    'Bailey should lead Australia in the World Cup'

Bowl at Boycs: Geoff Boycott on why keepers don't make good captains

    A good time to invest in Smith stock

Mark Nicholas: Australia's new captain has shown more responsibility in his batting without shedding his youthful bravado

    'Why I was dropped is still an unsolved mystery'

Former India opener Madhav Apte talks about his short-lived Test career, and touring the West Indies

Was it right to play the fourth ODI?

Ahmer Naqvi: Why there really is no point in the PCB trying to get international cricket back to Pakistan

News | Features Last 7 days

The terrifying bouncer

When Mitchell Johnson hit Virat Kohli on the helmet with a bouncer, Australian fielders came from everywhere. Mental disintegration had gone, replaced by the cricket unity. Two teams, one family.

Johnson and Kohli fight their demons

From the bouncer that struck him on the badge of his helmet to the bouncer that dismissed him, Virat Kohli's century, and his duel with Mitchell Johnson, made for compelling human drama

The perfect Test

After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.

Kohli attains batting nirvana

Virat Kohli's innings on the final day transcended the conditions, the bowlers and his batting partners, and when it was all in vain, he displayed remarkable grace in defeat

Australia in good hands under proactive Smith

The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game

News | Features Last 7 days