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Posted: 10 April 2024

The Tour, written by Simon Wilde, has won the Cricket Society and MCC Book of the Year Award 2024.

Simon’s thematic history of England’s cricket tours since 1877 triumphed at the annual awards ceremony in the Long Room at Lord’s.

Books about Bazball and England’s white ball cricket revolution were also on the shortlist, as well as a biography of Frank Worrell, for the first time a cricketing play, and a look at international stars playing league cricket.

Simon said of the The Tour: “I’d done a history of the England team previously and when I was doing that book, I realised there was a lot of stuff I was overlooking - what you do on a tour when you’re not playing Australia in a Test match, many weeks of warm-up games and weeks when you go up country.

"A tour was about more than a few international matches, it was a whole adventure"

Chair of Judges Robert Winder said: “How lucky we are to have authors who can describe this changing world of cricket for us. These are six splendid books.”

The Stephen Fay Award 2024 was also made, posthumously, to Tony Cozier for his services to cricket writing and commentary and accepted on the family’s behalf by Vic Marks.

The competition, run by the Cricket Society since 1970 and in partnership with MCC since 2009, is for books nominated by MCC and Cricket Society Members, and is highly regarded by writers and publishers.

The 2023 winner was An Island’s Eleven, The Story of Sri Lankan Cricket by Nicholas Brookes.

The six books on the 2024 shortlist were: 

Son of Grace, Frank Worrell A Biography, Vaneisa Baksh, Fairfield Books

Bazball, The Inside Story of a Test Cricket Revolution, Lawrence Booth and Nick Hoult, Bloomsbury (picture below)

Stumped, Shomit Dutta, Concord Theatricals

Sticky Dogs and Stardust, When the Legends Played in the Leagues, Scott Oliver, Fairfield Books

White Hot, The Inside Story of England Cricket’s Double World Champions, Tim Wigmore and Matt Roller, Bloomsbury

The Tour: The Story of the England Cricket Team Overseas 1877-2022, Simon Wilde, Simon and Schuster 

Other books considered for the shortlist included:

 How to be a Cricket Fan: A Life in 50 Artefacts from WG to Wisden, Matthew Appleby, Pitch

Disappearing World, Our 18 First-Class Cricket Counties, Scyld Berry, Pitch

Turning Over the Pebbles, Mike Brearley, Constable 

Broadly Speaking, Stuart Broad, Hodder and Stoughton

Legacy, My Autobiography, Nick Compton, Allen and Unwin

From Darkness into Light, John Broom and Anthony Condon, Pitch

Footprints, David Foot’s Lifetime of Writing, Stephen Chalke, Charlcombe Books/ Fairfield Books

Balls to Fly, Ricky Ellcock, An Autobiography, Fairfield Books

Cambridge Sport in Fenner’s Hands, Nigel Fenner, self-published by Cambridge Sports Tours

Ashes 2023, A Cricket Classic, Gideon Haigh, Scribe Publications 

All-India and Down Under, Peace, Partition and the Game of Cricket, Richard Knott, Pitch 

No Picnic, The Historic First MCC Tour of India and Ceylon 1926-27, Jeremy Lonsdale, ACS Publications

Gilly: The Turbulent Life of Roy Gilchrist, Mark Peel, Pitch

Yorkshire Grit: The Life of Ray Illingworth, Mark Peel, Pitch

David Warner, Daring to be Different, Ken Piesse, Wilkinson Publishing

The Last Corinthian, The Cricketing Life of MJK Smith, Mike Thompson, Pitch

 One Day at a Time, The History of Limited Overs Cricket in 25 Matches, David Tossell, Fairfield Books