‘Dad, watch this. When he pushes the helmet with his gloves all the sweat pours down his face.’
‘Oooh. that’s not pretty,’ says Dad. ‘Just goes to show he’s working hard even though he looks in control.’
‘Ahh. No way, Dad! He’s out!’
‘He was trying to be too cute down the leg side,’ explains the commentator. ‘Superb effort by India, Australia nine for 310.’
It’s going to be close, eight runs to get, one wicket in hand – but it should be okay, I reckon. I hope Australia wins this Test.
‘It’s bedtime Jase,’ calls Mum.
Dad and I ignore her. I reckon Dad will stick up for me here.
Jason is cricket mad. He sleeps with his cricket bat, he practises endlessly. For his ninth birthday he and his mates are going to watch the Australian team practice before the Third Test. He catches a ball missed by the fielders and the Australian player tells him he can keep it. The player also gives him some advice about how to become the best. Jason spots a tattoo on his inner arm but can’t quite make out all the words. The next few pages contain information about the history of cricket, the history of the Ashes competition and more. Turn the page and fast forward a few seasons. Jason is still playing cricket and playing a final practice game with the State squad before the team for the National Championships is selected. Jason’s enthusiasm for his game has not diminished at all. He’s worked out the meaning of the tattoo he saw on his ninth birthday and he still has that magic ball.
Cricket is a game that inspires great passion, in its players and its supporters. It is also a game with a rich history and a million different statistics! ‘I want to be a Cricketer’ blends fiction with plenty of facts. Each opening has a green inset oval the shape of a cricket ground with facts about cricket. Readers will learn who has the fastest (recorded) bowling speed; who was the first player to hit 100 sixes; which is the only sport more popular than cricket; why early cricket bats looked more like hockey sticks and much more. The front endpapers feature autographs of well-known cricketers, with plenty of space for more. The end end-papers show where in the world cricket is played. I want to be a Cricketer is endorsed by Cricket Australia. Recommended for cricket lovers of any age, but particularly mid- to upper-primary aged boys.
I want to be a Cricketer, Sally Carbon & Justin Langer, ill Stewart Gollan
Fremantle Press 2008