The 2018 Cricket Society and MCC Book of the Year Award shortlist has been announced.
From Learie Constantine to Jonny Bairstow via Geoff Cope, cricketing careers from the 1930's to today fill three of the six-strong list.
An Australian book about cricket photography, one about Indian cricket history through the lives of eleven of its protagonists, and an account of the 1939 Durban Test complete a cosmopolitan selection.
Chair of judges Vic Marks said: "It has been an unusually tricky process to decide upon this year's shortlist. Finding a winner may not be any easier. But this year we have some fresh judges to help us. Mike Selvey and Robert Winder are now part of the panel after the departure of David Kynaston and Stephen Fay, who have been locked away in some dark corner writing a cricket book rather than reading several."
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 Mark Nicholas’s A Beautiful Game: My love affair with cricket. Simon Lister won in 2016 with Fire in Babylon: How the West Indies Cricket Team Brought a People to its Feet.
The £3,000 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 17th 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.
Six books on the shortlist are:
Jonny Bairstow and Duncan Hamilton, A Clear Blue Sky, HarperCollins
Stephen Chalke, In Sunshine and in Shadow: Geoff Cope and Yorkshire Cricket, Fairfield Books
John Lazenby, Edging Towards Darkness, Bloomsbury
Harry Pearson – Connie: The Marvellous Life of Learie Constantine Little, Brown
Christian Ryan, Feeling is the thing that happens in 1000th of a second: a season of cricket photographer Patrick Eagar, Riverrun
Rajdeep Sardesai, Democracy’s XI: The Great Indian Cricket Story, Juggernaut
The other ten books considered (alphabetically by author):
Mike Brearley, On Form, Little, Brown
Michael Burns, Russell Endean: A South African Sportsman in the Apartheid Era, Nightwatchman Books
Jeremy Lonsdale, A Game Taken Seriously: The Foundations of Yorkshire’s Cricketing Power, ACS
Douglas Miller, Raman Subba Row: Cricket Visionary, Charlcombe Books
Andrew Murtagh, Gentleman and Player: The Story of Colin Cowdrey, Cricket’s Most Elegant and Charming Batsman, Pitch Publishing
Chris Overson, All Ten: The Ultimate Bowling Feat, ACS
Steve Neal, Over and Out, Albert Trott: The Man who Cleared the Lord’s Pavilion, Pitch Publishing
Mark Rowe, Brian Sellers: Yorkshire Tyrant, ACS
Mike Thompson, The Lord of Lord’s: The Life and Times of Lord Frederick Beauclerk, Christopher Saunders
Peter Wynne-Thomas, Arthur Carr: The Rise and Fall of Nottinghamshire’s Bodyline Captain, Chequered Flag