Jocelyn Galsworthy is as much part of the cricket establishment as pavilion passes and administrative incompetence. She paints nice, fairly samey, landscapes of grounds around the world and has built herself a reputation as the game's artist laureate.

So diversifying into cricket portraits is a sound business decision, and this book, a collection of pencil and sepia drawings that she exhibited last year at the House of Lords, is a banker. She has persuaded a large number of current players and former greats to sit for her, and Judy Vigors, who co-authored Galsworthy's last book, provides condensed biographies.

Which are the first problem. If this is a book for "devotees", why is the text written by someone who admits she began with no knowledge and less interest in the sport? It is laudably honest but something one soon realises anyway after insights like Richard Hadlee was "one of the finest allrounders of his generation". Basing her pen portraits largely on interviews with the sitters, Vigors has found everyone charming and learnt little that a casual fan will not know. On second thoughts there are few people who would be able to give the exact years of John Woodcock's four hip replacements.

This may be carping since the book is clearly about the pictures - except that Galsworthy is equally guilty of sycophancy. Most ex-players have lost 10 pounds and at least one chin under her forgiving eye. Fred Trueman has regressed so many years that Vigors' accompanying text - "Fiery Fred is 74. Hard to believe, isn't it?" - is for once astute. Current players shine like heroes in a World War II film co-starring Denholm Elliott; Adam Gilchrist's ears pictured have never grown so elegantly backwards.

Likeness is not everything, of course. Good portraiture aims to capture some less tangible element of the sitter and there are touches of that. Ian Botham has the statesmanlike look of a man who takes himself pretty seriously and David Gower practically twinkles off the page. Then there are the odd inclusions. I'm sure Sir Ron Brierley is indeed "one of the greatest benefactors in the world" but it is hard to see how either he or the former Cricketer ad-man Chris Bazalgette is a personality/legend. And, for all the glossy production values, no one could spell "Kevin Pieterson", "Nasser Hussein" or "Curtley Ambrose" correctly. But maybe that is OK because there are forewords by a Prime Minister and a field marshal with lots of letters after his name, so the kind of people who are impressed by cricket-loving dignitaries will pay their £25 and consider it a good deal. Others will leave well alone.