Compile a book claiming to contain “the greatest” of anything and you are bound to run into problems. Do it with cricket and you are asking for trouble–everyone will disagree with at least one of your entries and chide you for perceived omissions.

But John Woodcock, Times writer and cricket correspondent for more than 50 years, is among the best qualified to undertake such a task. And an admirable job he made of it in The Times One Hundred Greatest Cricketers.

Opening the innings with a name few would argue with–W G Grace–Woodcock goes through many other of the greatest names the sport has ever seen–Don Bradman, Garfield Sobers, Len Hutton, Shane Warne, Viv Richards, Ian Botham–and includes cricketing greats past and the present.

In addition to a one-page potted history of the player’s career, each entry has a black- and-white picture to accompany it. A statistical index (accurate until March/April 1998) completes the information, giving the kind of figures cricket fans love–batting averages, highest scores, number of wickets etc. An introduction explains the thinking behind the choices and a foreword by former England captain Mike Brearley is a perfect starting place.

A great book for cricket fanatics, this will also appeal to the more casual fan. Accessible, well-written and interesting, it will certainly provoke debate, whether you agree with the entries or not.

Get the The Times One Hundred Greatest Cricketers now!




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