A six-book shortlist featuring comedian Miles Jupp and former county cricketer Peter Gibbs are up for the Cricket Society and MCC Book of the Year Award.
Gibbs’s realistic and racy cricket novel and a blagger’s Indian tale by comedian and presenter Jupp are surprise contenders for the coveted award.
The winner will be presented with a prize of £3,000 by Church of England priest and ex-cricketer Andrew Wingfield Digby on Monday 15 April in the Long Room at Lord's.
Also included on the list are Gideon Haigh, who profiles Australian icon Shane Warne while Andrew Murtagh discusses the less well-known but remarkable George Chesterton.
Jupp's tale is that of a press corps infiltrator who reports on an England Test series in India.
Former England batsman Steve James meanwhile examines the effects on England’s cricketing fortunes of their current and former Zimbabwean coaches Andy Flower and Duncan Fletcher.
Full List of nominees
- Peter Gibbs: Settling the Score. Methuen
- Gideon Haigh: On Warne. Simon and Schuster
- Steve James: The Plan, How Fletcher and Flower transformed English Cricket. Bantam Books
- Miles Jupp: Fibber in the Heat, Following England in India, A Blagger's Tale. Ebury Press
- Malcolm Knox: Never a Gentlemen's Game. Hardie Grant
- Andrew Murtagh: A Remarkable Man, The Story of George Chesterman. Shire Publications
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 Chris Waters for his brilliant authorised biography of England legend Fred Trueman.
Thirteen other books published were considered for this year's award before being whittled down by a panel of judges, independently chaired by writer and broadcaster - and former England all-rounder - Vic Marks.
The other judges are David Kynaston and Stephen Fay (MCC) and John Symons and Chris Lowe (The Cricket Society). Nigel Hancock is the competition’s administrator.