Simon Hughes, one of the pillars of Channel 4′s much-acclaimed test match commentary, wrote Jargonbusting to explain cricket to an audience unfamiliar with its complexities and odd vernacular. He’s very well qualified to do so: he had a long and moderately distinguished career as a fast-medium bowler for Middlesex and Durham, then embarked on a very successful second career as journalist and television commentator. He’s also written two famously entertaining chronicles of his cricketing life: A Lot of Hard Yakka (winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award in 1997) and Yakking around the World.

Viewers of Channel 4′s coverage will know him as “the analyst”, the one who explains technical points, tactics and strategy, and other cricketing arcana. This book displays the same gift for making a complicated sport simple. It’s the long-missing answer to the famous “cricket as explained to foreigners” tea-towel (and school of thought)–the insiders have enjoyed baffling the ignorant for long enough and Hughes provides a clear primer to enlighten all those friends and relatives who’ve been totally unable to fathom the sport their loved ones are so addicted to. He assumes no knowledge and takes the reader through the basics of batting, bowling, fielding, captaincy et al. with great thoroughness. There are stills from Channel 4′s coverage to illustrate each point, which, though rather grainy and fuzzy, are still pretty helpful. He takes particular care with the LBW law, that epic source of confusion. Richie Benaud is brought in to unravel the subtleties of leg-spin (a bit more complicated, this).

The book is a fine introduction for anyone new to cricket. It doesn’t go into depth or try to be a coaching manual, but within its terms of reference, it’s an impressively competent tome. –David Pickering

Jargonbusting: Mastering the Art of Cricket




  1. Anonymous says:

    This is one of the best books you can get for cricket. It includes a glossary on cricket jargon, including all kinds of slang from, reverse sweeps to off brakes. It includes images of the game in play as well as field settings and chapters on every part of the game.

    It is good reading for all ages.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. N.E.R.D says:

    this book is everything you need to know about cricket. It has pictures from recentish test matches, describes the changes over 5day test matches and tells you what happens to a cricket pitch over the course of a match.As the name suggests it explains every term of weird and wonderful terminology, because of this book i know what an agricultural shot is.I have got plenty of sports guides like this and this is the very best. All in all more than worthy of it’s 5 stars
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is cricket dissectated. Here Hughes explains everything you need know such as Yorkers, Full tosses, and the difference between a pull shot and hook. Brilliant from a man who has done it before and pleasure to understand the most complex of sports played today
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. This is a very good, very clear book about the basics of cricket and cricket jargon. It is clearly written and well illustrated with a collection of excellent photographs that support the points being made.

    While I would recommend this to anybody interested in cricket (and not already very familiar with the game), I do have a couple of reservations:
    a) It is starting to look a little dated in places, for example it includes a number of tables, the ratings of the test playing nations, top wicket takers, top run scorers etc all based on 2002 figures.
    b) The book focuses on test cricket rather than one-day cricket and was written before the advent of 20-20 cricket. Therefore, the book is weak on some of the jargon that is used in the one-day games.

    Recommended, I just wish there was an updated version.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  5. Anonymous says:

    Simon Hughes digs deep into the depths of his cricket knowledge in this fascinating book! I bought it as a follower, but not as an expert, and his book has helped me understand the game in much more detail. Expert analysis, coupled with diagrams and snapshopts, explain the game in detail without using too much jargon, which is really what I wanted.

    I particularly enjoyed the information on batting, bowling and fielding, but the one thing I thought was missing from the book was a detailed look at captains tactics during game scenarios.

    However, having read the book, i understand that its not really about that.

    All in all, I would recommended it to all cricket followers, be them experts or mere beginners!
    Rating: 4 / 5

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