As multi-millionaire players take to floodlit fields in glorified pyjamas, When Cricket Was Cricket takes a nostalgic look at the sport during very different times past.
Newer forms of the game like Twenty20 and the IPL have their place in fans’ affections, but nothing quite beats the original – when a proper match lasted the best part of a week, and a spirit of fair-play prevailed amongst the men in crisp whites.
Looking back to a heyday of long hot summers and the classic matches which helped define them, When Cricket Was Cricket fondly recalls a time in which the sport was an altogether simpler and more traditional pastime – devoid of the increasing sponsorship, commercialism, and ultra professionalism that characterise it now.
Drawing on 100 years of outstanding photographs, many previously unseen, from the extensive archives of the Daily Mirror, this brilliantly illustrated book also brings to life the characters that became as synonymous with the sport as the dependable rhythms and customs of the summer game during its golden decades.
The book pays tribute to memorable performances and unmistakable personalities along the way. Legends such as W G Grace, Bradman, and Hobbs; famous greats of the post-war era including Sobers, Miller and Trueman; and more recent heroes such as Botham, Warne, Tendulkar and Lara are all lovingly profiled in this tour through the decades of cricketing history.
But more than being simply a roll-call of the sport’s great and the good, the book also celebrates its grass roots, paying attention to the rich heritage and unique traditions that make it so popular with fans across the globe.
Ranging from the grandest venues to the humblest village pitches, this is the perfect guide to the heyday of the game of bat and ball, offering a timely wallow in cricketing nostalgia as the new season begins in earnest.
Adam Powley is a journalist and writer based in Brighton. He is the author of the When Football Was Football volumes on the World Cup and Tottenham Hotspur, and is the co-author of the acclaimed 61: The Spurs Double, The Boys From White Hart Lane and the bestselling Spurs Miscellany. He was a major contributor to The Spurs Opus, When Saturday Comes: The half-decent football book, and Football: The Ultimate Guide, and has reported and written for the Sunday Mirror, The Times, The Guardian, and Time Out.
Publication: 5 May 2011
ISBN: 978 0 85733 041 3