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Stocking up for Christmas

Jenny Thompson's guide to this Christmas's stocking fillers

Jenny Roesler
Jenny Thompson
If you've left your Christmas shopping to the last minute, don't worry, you're not the only one - and, more importantly, it's not too late. Have a scan through Santa's sack below and see what would make the best stocking fillers for the cricket fan - or tragic - in your life. Or treat yourself... The items below are available to buy from Cricshop unless stated

You don't need snow to go sledging © Cricinfo
Buy them a sledge!
Not the hurtling-down-hills at breakneck speed kind-of sledge, but the type that you'll find the Aussies and English currently using, some more inventively than others - Sherminator, anyone? The best sledges are summed up in two books - one on Ashes sledging in particular, and the other on how to sledge. Simon Briggs' book, Stiff Upper Lips and Baggy Green Caps (Quercus, 280pp), will appeal to both the seasoned fan and relative newcomer. It's a potted history of Test cricket's oldest continuous rivalry, and provides plenty of laughs to boot. The other is The Sledger's Handbook, by Liam McCann (Facts, Figures and Fun, 160pp) and promises it will teach you 'How to Deliver the Perfect Cricketing Insult'. Cricinfo is not responsible for any fights breaking out on the pitch.
Help them get from A to Z
Another book worth considering is Lawrence Booth's Arm Ball to Zooter, a lexicon of cricket terminology (Penguin, 304pp). Very amusing and well worth dipping into while everyone fights over the remote control on Christmas Day.
Bring them Billy
Billy Birmingham is back! The voice behind the 12th Man, the foul-mouthed parody of Richie Benaud and the Channel 9 commentary team, has returned and while this DVD is not perhaps as brilliant as its previous incarnations it is nevertheless entertaining and will make those car-rides round to granny's on Boxing Day much smoother. Read our review here for more info. (Aus$29.95)
For the county fan in your life
Bring some light to those shivering English fans not fortunate enough to be out in Australia right now by giving them a glimpse of summer with a ticket to the cricket. You can get them a whole season's worth of fun in the sun, in fact, by buying - or renewing - membership to their favourite county. Prices start around £100. Not bad. See county websites.

Aw, nice, Shane... Warne has signed his illustrated career book - which could be yours © Cricinfo
A bit special
Shane Warne's up his usual tricks in Australia at the moment and he's looking a bit special. You can make yourself look a bit special too by handing over one of these little beauties - a Warne Illustrated Career book, which is leather-bound and signed by the great man himself. (£100)
Get shirty
With the World Cup looming, you could get ahead of the pack with an official World Cup t-shirt from your favourite country. Not all of the teams are represented, but the big players are. Various prices.
Get ahead of the World Cup
Fans can also get ahead of the competition by delving into the World Cup Cricket - Stats and Facts book and absorbing the knowledge... and all for £19.99. Or, for £16.99, you could get The Wisden History of the Cricket World Cup. Edited by Tony Cozier, original Wisden reports are mixed with new material to provide a fresh perspective.
Make your own bat!
Another one for English fans, this - you can treat someone to a day with Hawk Sports, a high-class traditional bat-maker in Worcestershire. Tuition is provided, as is lunch in the village pub. At the end of the day you can buy your bat for £95, shaving £50 off the original price. Call Mike Hawk on 01562 731 115.
A net - literally
Maybe not so much a stocking filler as... well, unless you're lucky enough to have a very large stocking. You'll definitely need a big flat area in your garden and a big fat chequebook (£1500 specifically) to buy this net in the back garden. It's every cricketer's dream, so if you can afford it, make that dream come true. From Flicx - ring: 07764 228 208.

Jenny Thompson is assistant editor of Cricinfo