A History of Cricket, by Catherine Chambers

Millions of people across the globe play the game and watch it for hours, days or even weeks at a time. They sweat under an Australian December sun, or shiver through cool English summers. Sometimes players run themselves ragged until the sun turns red in the sky. At other times, they hang around the outfield with the starry hope that they will make a match-winning catch.
So what is about this sport that makes it so popular? Why do athletes suffer these agonies and endure these conditions? Well, there is only one answer. Cricket just hast to be the mightiest, most noble game. The pinnacle of all physical, mental and emotional tests.

A History of Cricket is just that. It searches for the origins of the game in Egypt, Germany and India as well in Britain. It finds no definitive answer but introduces many possibilities. Was the game we now know as cricket once called ‘kegeling’ or Gilli-danda? A History of Cricket moves from these speculations to more verifiable facts in Britain and her colonies. The growth of cricket as a national and international sport is not without its setbacks, whether they be urbanisation, or civil war. It is a story of passionate players and advocates, of rules and endless statistics, of tea and tradition. It’s also a story of a game that continues to change in response to changing times and tastes. Cricket can be played anywhere from the backyard to the grandest playing field. Equipment ranges from plastic bats and tennis balls to the finest willow bat, helmets and safety gear. It is team sport, although personalities add colour to the games.

Cricket has enough rules to confound all but the most dedicated follower. And the rules are constantly changing. There are different rules for each form of the game. But it continues to garner support, and excite passion around the world. A History of Cricket looks at some of the reasons why. It speculates on the origin then moves to firmer ground with the facts and figures that only cricket could amass. Game greats are introduced and controversies examined. The birth of women’s cricket is documented, rules are outlined, warm-ups suggested. Rules are discussed, and of course statistics. There is something here for every young cricket fan, and perhaps for the parent who wants to share the passion.

A History of Cricket

A History of Cricket, Catherine Chambers
Black Dog Books 2009
ISBN: 9781742030586

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

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