When I see the quality of writing by people like Scyld Berry...I feel daunted. I can never write as well as they can.
Cricket's rich and varied tapestry, revealing character and national characteristics is passed on here by a man who has always been passionately interested in both.
The game of cricket manages to invade the minds of all that are passionate about it on so many levels - it's combination of tradition, innovation, rivalry and friendship makes it truly unique. Scyld manages to encapsulate everything that is great about cricket into a fantastically entertaining book that reminds us all of how lucky we are to have involvement in the best game of all.
Perhaps more than any other sport, cricket has inspired outstanding writing. As Scyld Berry reveals in his new book, Cricket: The Game of Life, around 20,000 books or pamphlets have been produced in English on cricket over the years, a record. Now Mr Berry, a former editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack and the cricket correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph, has written a worthy addition to this rich lineage. The book may be eclectic, but it is also rewarding'
...400 page love letter to the sport, weaving in his own memories with tales from around the world.
Scyld Berry is a rarity: among cricket correspondents of what were once styled the broadsheets, he is a scribe with almost no playing pedigree...few can challenge the breadth of his knowledge and understanding, or his love, of this most subtle of all sports. Throw in the author's rich cultural awareness and command of the English language and the result is a very good cricket book, one I am happy to label great...Seldom have I read a dust jacket with a more accurate description of its book. Even more rarely have I endorsed a book so wholeheartedly.
This could be the first existential book about cricket I've ever read. It's certainly the most ambitious, and by turns the most beautiful...It's both sweeping and meticulous all at once....I can only say, truly, that my connection to the game feels deeper for having read it. It's a book that dares to concern itself with the 'why' question that lies behind everything. I feel like I understand a little more about why this enduringly magical, absurdly incongruous, infinitely renewable curio continues to take hold of us, and can offer no greater praise than that.
Scyld Berry's paean to the game from its early days to now is an intensely personal work from one of cricket journalism's most original thinkers, mixing serious historical research with the reveries and theories that have sustained him over a lifetime. A work of love.
The extended piece on the pressures of Ashes series on captains is beautifully painted....I think every aspiring young England cricketer should read this....not as something to be afraid of, but to enlighten and prepare for the challenges that may come his way