Steve James

The Art of Centuries
  • The Art of Centuries

  • A century has always had a special resonance, in all walks of life, and none more so than in cricket. Scoring one hundred runs is the ultimate for a batsman. As former England captain Andrew Strauss admits, it's incredibly hard to do; for Ricky Ponting, it's a transformational moment in the career of a cricketer. Or in the words of Geoffrey Boycott, 'a century has its own magic'.

    In The Art of Centuries, Steve James applies his award-winning forensic insight to the very heart of batting. Through interviews with the leading run-scorers in cricket history and his own experiences, Steve discovers what mental and physical efforts are required to reach those magical three figures. Despite his own haul of 47 first-class tons, he himself felt at times that he was poorly equipped for the task.

    So working out how to score centuries is an art. And bowlers might not agree, but there really is no better feeling in cricket.

Steve James is cricket columnist for the Sunday Telegraph and a sports writer for the Daily Telegraph. He read Classics at Swansea University before becoming a postgraduate at Cambridge, where he won a Blue in the side captained by Mike Atherton. He played his county cricket with Glamorgan for eighteen years, scoring nearly 16,000 runs at an average of over 40, and captaining them for three seasons, winning a National League trophy in 2002, before retiring due to injury. In 1997 James helped Glamorgan to win the County Championship for the first time in nearly thirty years and was named the Professional Cricketers Association Player of the Year. He still holds the record for highest score by a Glamorgan batsman (309 not out against Sussex at Colwyn Bay in 2000) and also won two caps for England.