New and forthcoming

The Meaning of Cricket

Jon Hotten

Cricket is a strange game. It is a team sport that is almost entirely dependent on individual performance. Its combination of time, opportunity and the constant threat of disaster can drive its participants to despair. To survive a single delivery propelled at almost 100 miles an hour takes the body and brain to the edges of their capabilities, yet its abiding image is of the gentle village green, and the glorious absurdities of the amateur game.

In The Meaning of Cricket, Jon Hotten attempts to understand this fascinating, frustrating and complex sport. Blending legendary players, from Vivian Richards to Mark Ramprakash, Kevin Pietersen to Ricky Ponting, with his own cricketing story, he explores the funny, moving and melancholic impact the game can have on an individual life.

The Test Match Special Book of Cricket Quotes

Dan Waddell (and others)

Collecting hundreds of quips and quotes, and beautifully illustrated throughout, The Test Match Special Book of Cricket Quotes is a cricket fan’s indispensable guide to bats, beards, boundaries and bowls.

From witty sayings and wise words, to doubles entendres, and legendary moments from cricketing history, you’ll find the perfect line for every occasion.

‘I've never got to the bottom of streaking’- Jonathan Agnew

‘On the first day Logie decided to chance his arm and it came off' - Trevor Bailey

‘Bill Frindall has done a bit of mental arithmetic with a calculator’- John Arlott

'Strangely, in slow motion, the ball seemed to hang in the air for even longer' - David Acfield

'I'm not into caps with lots of diamonds on them, like KP' - James Anderson

'How can you tell your wife you are just popping out to play a match and then not come back for five days?' - Rafa Benitez on test cricket

‘I don't think we choked this time. We never played well enough to choke’ - Craig Matthews

‘Flintoff starts in, his shadow beside him. Where else would it be?’- Henry Blofeld

‘I once delivered a simple ball, which I was told, had it gone far enough, would have been considered a wide’ - Lewis Carroll

Six Machine

Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle is the only man to have ever hit a six off the first ball of a Test match. But then producing the impossible is an everyday act for the West Indies legend: the first man to smash an international T20 century, the first to hit a World Cup 200, the fastest century in the history of the game. Off the pitch he is even more flamboyant: he plays late, parties later, demolishes a king-size pile of pancakes and then strolls out to mangle another hapless bowling attack.

But do we really know him? Do we know what took a shy, skinny kid from a cramped tin-roofed shack in the dusty back streets of Kingston to the very top of the cricket world - without losing himself along the way? A story not just of sporting genius but of battling prejudice, this unputdowneable memoir will leave you reeling. Welcome to the world of the Six Machine.

The Test Match Special Quiz Book

Dan Waddell

For over 50 years, Test Match Special has provided listeners with every Test cricket ball, batting average, and planety of views from the boundary, too. But how well do you know your cricket?

Pit your wits against Aggers, Tuffers, Boycs and Johnners – and try not to get caught out! Can you identify the most famous players from history, name that ground or reel off well-known (and lesser-known) stats and facts. And of course, what Test Match Special would be complete without the gaffes, giggles, cakes and celebrity guests who make up a day at the cricket?

With over 3,000 mind-bending puzzles about every aspect of the sport and beyond, this is the ultimate test of any cricket fan's true average.

The Art of Centuries

Steve James

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.

Fire in Babylon

Simon Lister

WINNER OF THE CRICKET SOCIETY AND MCC BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2016

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD

'I doubt there will be a better book written about this period in West Indies cricket history.'
Clive Lloyd

Cricket had never been played like this. Cricket had never meant so much.

The West Indies had always had brilliant cricketers; it hadn’t always had brilliant cricket teams. But in 1974, a man called Clive Lloyd began to lead a side which would at last throw off the shackles that had hindered the region for centuries. Nowhere else had a game been so closely connected to a people’s past and their future hopes; nowhere else did cricket liberate a people like it did in the Caribbean.

For almost two decades, Clive Lloyd and then Vivian Richards led the batsmen and bowlers who changed the way cricket was played and changed the way a whole nation – which existed only on a cricket pitch - saw itself.

With their pace like fire and their scorching batting, these sons of cane-cutters and fishermen brought pride to a people which had been stifled by 300 years of slavery, empire and colonialism. Their cricket roused the Caribbean and antagonised the game’s traditionalists.

Told by the men who made it happen and the people who watched it unfold, Fire in Babylon is the definitive story of the greatest team that sport has known.

The Periodic Table of CRICKET

John Stern

Welcome to The Periodic Table of Cricket. Here you’ll find the essential elements - batsmen and bowlers past and present - that have left a lasting legacy on this great sport.

As with chemical elements, these international personalities have been arranged based on their characteristics in and out of play. Instead of metals and non-metals, here we have patient and determined defensive players, from Jack Hobbs to Hanif Mohammad and Alastair Cook transitioning to fast-paced and attacking players including Shane Warne, Fred Trueman and 'white lightning' Allan Donald with a whole host of others in between.

See how the best international players stack up against each other in this original guide to cricket that's perfect for all cricket fans.

Also contains a pull-out poster of the Periodic Table of Cricket.

The Test

Simon Jones

Winner of the Wisden Book of the Year

Eighteen years, eight series, eight defeats. These are the facts. I look around the room. We’re a young team. Strauss, Flintoff, Vaughan, the new guy, Kevin Pietersen. None of us remember England holding the Ashes. We are a generation that have grown up in Australia’s shadow.

In 2005 Simon Jones took part in the greatest Ashes series of all time. As a devastating fast bowler in a brave young England team, Jones went toe to toe with the might of the seemingly unbeatable Australians. Over the course of fifty-four days Simon would experience the greatest highs of his career, and plunge to the lowest depths. The series would change his life for ever.

In chapters that alternate between an unforgettable, insider's account of each of the five Tests and the remainder of his life, Simon presents the raw and unvarnished truth behind international sport; the joy and the sacrifice, the physical and mental cost and the unrelenting pressure. Heroes emerge, and cricketing legends are made human.

The Wit and Wisdom of Test Match Special

Dan Waddell

‘He played that so late, it was almost posthumous.’ (John Arlott)


For over fifty years, Test Match Special has provided the soundtrack to many cricket fans’ lives – now this book collects its greatest hits.


Here are all the witty sayings, bons mots, doubles entendres, wise words and priceless moments from the whole TMS team past and present, and of course their many and varied celebrity guests. Whether it’s classic Test moments or hilarious asides from the boundary, you’ll find the perfect line for every occasion. Collecting over half a century of quips and quotes, and beautifully illustrated throughout, The Wit and Wisdom of Test Match Special is a cricket fan’s indispensable guide to bats, bowls, beards and bakes.

Field of Shadows

Dan Waddell

Adolf Hitler despised cricket, considering it un-German and decadent. And Berlin in 1937 was not a time to be going against the Fuhrer’s wishes. But hot on the heels of the 1936 Olympics, an enterprising cricket fanatic of enormous bravery, Felix Menzel, somehow persuaded his Nazi leaders to invite an English team to play his motley band of part-timers.

That team was the Gentlemen of Worcestershire, an ill-matched group of mavericks, minor nobility, ex-county cricketers, rich businessmen and callow schoolboys – led by former Worcestershire CC skipper Major Maurice Jewell. Ordered ‘not to lose’ by the MCC, Jewell and his men entered the 'Garden of Beasts' to play two unofficial Test matches against Germany.

Against a backdrop of repression, brutality and sporadic gunfire, the Gents battled searing August heat, matting pitches, the skill and cunning of Menzel, and opponents who didn't always adhere to the laws and spirit of the game. The tour culminated in a match at the very stadium which a year before had witnessed one of sport's greatest spectacles and a sinister public display of Nazi might.

Despite the shadow cast by the cataclysmic conflict that was shortly to engulf them, Dan Waddell's vivid and detailed account of the Gentlemen of Worcestershire's 1937 Berlin tour is a story of triumph: of civility over barbarity, of passion over indifference and hope over despair.

Bradman's Best

Roland Perry

Sir Donald Bradman saw more cricket than anyone else in the twentieth century. He personally watched virtually all the best cricketers from all the major playing nations, as well as both playing in and selecting Test sides from 1928 to 1971, giving him an unprecedented appreciation of the best the sport had to offer. Added to this was a skill in judging a cricketer's capacities and talents that was second to none. Bradman retained all the detail of every match - from the trivia to the humourous moments - and he never lost the ability to distil it all with quite extraordinary perspicacity. And towards the end of his life, from a whole century of cricketers, he selected the very finest twelve for his ideal team.

Now you can read about that team, in the words of the great man himself, and in so doing gain an extraordinary insight into the game he loved.

Cycling to the Ashes

Oli Broom

One man, one bike, two Mongoose cricket bats, one tropical disease, 16,000 miles and a lot of dead kangaroos …

Oli Broom loves cricket. So much so that in 2009 he left his 9 to 5 in London and set off to cycle to Brisbane for the Ashes. Along the way he played cricket in the shadow of the Blue Mosque, slept in a goat pen in Sudan, dodged a 5-metre crocodile in the outback, battled mountains in sub-zero temperatures in Bulgaria and successfully negotiated the treacherous highways of India.

Starring the colourful characters he met on his travels, this is a funny and poignant tale for anyone who’s ever dreamt of jacking in the day job to embark on an incredible adventure.