The 2019 Cricket Society and MCC Book of the Year Award shortlist Has been announced today.
Contrasting forms of biography feature strongly with books about Moeen Ali, iconic commentators John Arlott and Jim Swanton, and English cricket itself included.
Completing the list are a collection of essays from Mike Brearley, a look back at English touring sides in the period after 1945 and, well timed as another Ashes summer beckons, a press insider’s forensic analysis of Australia’s fall from cricketing grace.
This year’s Chair of Judges Robert Winder said: “There was plenty of head scratching before we could agree on a shortlist. Several good books were unlucky to miss out. No doubt there will be more strong conversations to be had before we pick a winner – the Decision Review System will be busy. But the range of titles under consideration, from club to country, from fiction to non-fiction, from Sydney to Swansea via Durban and Delhi – reminds us that cricket is a game that hums with fine writing.”
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.
Last year’s winner was Harry Pearson’s Connie: The Marvellous Life of Learie Constantine. Mark Nicholas won in 2017 with A Beautiful Game: My love affair with cricket.
The £3,000 prize for the winner, and certificates for all the shortlisted books, will be presented at an awards evening in the Long Room at Lord’s on Tuesday 16th April. A sell-out audience of 200 people will comprise Members of the Cricket Society and MCC, the shortlisted authors, publishers, and some of today’s finest cricket writers and journalists.
- Moeen, Moeen Ali with Mihir Bose (Allen and Unwin)
- On Cricket, Mike Brearley (Constable)
- Arlott, Swanton and the Soul of English Cricket, Stephen Fay and David Kynaston (Bloomsbury)
- Steve Smith’s Men, Behind Australian Cricket’s Fall, Geoff Lemon (Hardie Grant)
- Ambassadors of Goodwill: MCC Tours 1946/47 - 1970/71, Mark Peel (Pitch Publishing)
- England, The Biography: The Story of English Cricket, Simon Wilde (Simon and Schuster)