Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Book Review - The Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2012

When I was a youngster there was always one book that I ensured went with me to every match that I attended - the Playfair Cricket Annual. Within its pages you could find any statistics you needed to ensure that the feats of the match protagonists were only a page turn away. I've not bought one for some time now, as the most up to date information is available on the excellent cricinfo website, saved as an early favourite on our laptops.

It is from cricinfo that much of the information in the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2012 comes, having changed its name to use the Wisden brand to good effect. Where it comes into its own is as a potted guide to the touring sides, the editor having to second guess the national selectors of the different teams with his selection of players for inclusion. So well is it done though that there are unlikely to be many omissions.Those seeking information on overseas professionals for the counties will also be rewarded, as the major stars around the globe are here from all of the Test-playing nations.

More than any similar books, however, it tells you not just what the players have achieved but how they play, with the potted biographies enlightening and rewarding. Of course, in an age when cricket statistics are, through cricinfo, only a mouse click away, the statistics are out of date because of publishing schedules and the sheer quantity of international cricket these days. Published in November 2011, the book doesn't reflect, for example, Martin Guptill's recent outstanding form, but one has to expect this and instead appreciate the book for what it offers.

That is 270 pages of information on the top stars of the modern international game, nicely produced and of a size and price that means you have the only books you really need on match days for just over a tenner.

Available on Amazon for just £7.18, the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2012 is a worthwhile addition to the annual roster of cricket books and is recommended accordingly.

No comments: