The 12 Best Cricket Books of 2022

We’ve read and reviewed all of the best cricket books this year – from biographies and cricket history books, to lighter books – and here we’ve picked out a dozen of the best books we’ve read

We’ve read and reviewed all the best cricket books this year – from biographies and cricket history books, to lighter books – and here we’ve picked out a dozen of the best books we’ve read.

Surely no other sport has the quality of written words that cricket can muster? This may be the result of those long, hazy summers of the past, which attracted the best talent to make cricket books at a faster rate than Jonny Bairstow’s cumulative runs.So whether you’re there for your own entertainment or looking for the perfect cricket giftyou’ll find a selection of the year’s best cricket books here.

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1. Beyond Boundaries: Scyld Berry’s Tour of England Cricket

RRP £22 (Fairfield Books, 246 pages)

One of the most trusted and beloved voices in cricket journalism (and a regular contributor to The Cricketer), Scyld Berry has been a regular on the Tour of England since 1977 until finally hanging up his hand in 2022 box. The book covers Berry’s visit to all nine of England’s main trial opponents; a “rich, eclectic tapestry” of his love affair with Australia, considered a critique of life in India, as well as a critique of life in Zimbabwe and The affection of its former star.

What the cricketer said: “Cricket, travel, history and Scyld Berry… these are some of my favourites. He’s probably my favourite cricket writer, and he excels on all three subjects in this informative new book.“- 4.5 stars

Click here to buy Beyond the Boundaries from Amazon

Click here to buy Beyond the Boundaries from Waterstones

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2. Who only cricket knows about David Woodhouse

RRP £25 (Fairfield Books, 447 pages)

When it comes to travel, David Woodhouse’s captivating account of England’s tumultuous journey to the West Indies in the early ’50s has everything a storyteller could possibly want: from spending Christmas in Bermuda to drawing lots at death. Plus, there are memories of some of the game’s greatest players, including the hosts’ Gary Sobers, Everton Weeks, Frank Worrell, and the visitors’ Ryan Hutton, Dennis Compton and Jim Lake. Winner of Cricket Book of the Year at this year’s Sports Book Awards.

What the cricketer said: “It’s one of the most well-researched and entertaining books on cricket that this reviewer has read, and he’s obsessed with every anecdote that makes it a true page-turner.“- 4.5 stars

Click here to buy someone only cricket knows from amazon

Click here to buy from Waterstones Only Cricket Knows

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3. Philip Brown’s cricket colours

£25 MSRP (Pitch Publishing, 320pp)

Philip Brown has been hailed as one of cricket’s greatest photo documentaries, and this book is actually the most popular collection of photography from his career that began more than 30 years ago. Needless to say, it showcases Brown’s significant talent, with a plethora of work ranging from Stokes to Pontin, St Lucia to Longhouse, Ashes to Subcontinent, and everything in between.

What the cricketer said: “Philip is as close to a genius as anyone I’ve ever worked with…he has a vision that no one else has. His ability to capture light, movement and emotion is outstanding. His understanding of the game, his passion, and his relationship with the protagonist seem to give him a perspective that no one else can accept.“- 4.5 stars

Click here to buy Cricket colors from Amazon

Click here to buy Cricket colors from Waterstones

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4. Geoffrey Boycott and Jon Hotten Boycott Geoffrey

RRP £25 (Fairfield Books, 308 pages)

The so-called “108 Top One Second-hand Accounts”, this book is a product of the lockdown. Sir Geoffrey wrote down his memories of each of his 108 tests on his four walls, which his eventual co-author Jon Horton described as a “retrospective diary”. The result is a game-by-game account in which Boycott’s initial recollections of games, games and players are expanded and very lightly honed.

What the cricketer said: “They work like a right/left hand combo: a straightforward, fact-focused first-person tone on one end, and Hotten’s brisk present tense on the other. Boycotting naturally takes slightly more strikes; less naturally, he also hits more shots.“- 4 stars

Click here to buy from Amazon as the Jeffrey Boycott

Click here to buy from Waterstones boycotted by Geoffrey

5. Cricket in World War I: Play!Play John Bloom’s Game

RRP £25 (pen and sword, 240pp)

This is John Bloom’s seventh book on the two world wars of the 20th century, following his description of the sport during World War II last year. Focusing on cricket and batsmen, the work details the involvement of players from the test and lower levels = many were killed or carried wounds and neurological conditions, traumatised for life.

What the cricketer said: “The book is well-written and well-illustrated, and it wouldn’t be surprising if the research and overall effort left the author a little tired. Many stories stand out.“- 4 stars

Click here to buy cricket in World War I from Amazon

Click here to buy World War I Cricket from Waterstones

6. Paul Edwards’ Summer Promise

RRP £22 (Fairfield Books, 335 pages)

As a regular contributor to this website and our print magazine, Paul Edwards needs no introduction to The Cricketer readers. This anthology of stories, drawn from his experience watching British cricket over the past few summers, is full of the kind of detail that only true game lovers would notice, and uses beautiful phrases to express their sense of justice.

What the cricketer said: “Buy the book now, save it for the winter, read it quantitatively, and when you’re done, Swifts will swoop in again.“- 4 stars

Click here to buy Summer Days Promise from Amazon

Click here to buy Summer Days Promise from Waterstones

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7. The Essence of Cricket by Graham Coster

RRP £16.99 (Haven Books, 144 pages)

The little gem of the book is a love letter to nature and how it interacts with the game of cricket. It’s an appreciation for a time-honored game — giving players and spectators a chance to appreciate their natural surroundings — and a nod to collective nostalgia for the past.

What the cricketer said: “Coster is very vague about the technique, and the rough approach works well – you don’t have to (or want) to know all the science behind the growth of different kinds of grass to appreciate it.“- 4.5 stars

Click here to buy The Essence of Cricket from Amazon

Click here to buy The Essence of Cricket from Waterstones

8. Might Bite: The Secret Life of a Gaming Addict by Patrick Foster and Will Macpherson

RRP £14.99 (Bloomsbury Sports, 256 pages)

Sometimes the most fascinating stories about sports are those that barely touch upon the game itself, which of course applies to Patrick Foster’s memoir of his secret life as a gambling addict. He was a promising cricketer in his youth, a solid record of how severe betting losses derailed the first part of his life and nearly led to suicide.

What the cricketer said: “It’s detailed: Foster recounts bets on Hungarian handball, American horse racing, Ecuadorian youth soccer, Pakistan cricket, Australian Rugby League, Sheffield Wednesday vs Leeds and virtual horse racing, among others.“- 4 stars

Click here to buy Might Bite from Amazon

Click here to buy Might Bite from Waterstones

9. Felix White always has summer

RRP £9.99 (Kassel, 400 pages)

Looking back at the way cricket played in his life, Felix White describes how he was a child when his mother battled multiple sclerosis, and then his interest in music grew so much that he became An award-winning recording artist. In the midst of a rock star presence and high-profile romance, White wonders how he can make more of a commitment to cricket than a real human being, while the former provides a refuge and a constant.

What the cricketer said: “Sometimes funny, sometimes profound, White avoids self-pity and doesn’t mask emotion with flippant one-liners. But what elevates the book most is his extra effort to better understand whether the cricketer’s highs and lows reflect his own.“- 4 stars

Click here to buy It’s Always Summer Somewhere from Amazon

Click here to buy It’s Always Summer Somewhere from Waterstones

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10. Harry Pearson’s first drink of summer

RRP £20 (Simon & Schuster, p. 336)

subtitle George Hirst, Schofield Haigh, Wilfred Rhodes and the tender heart of Yorkshire cricket, Harry Pearson’s book is a sprawling Venn diagram aimed directly at those interested in the history of cricket and those fascinated by Yorkshire Cricket Club. It’s a study of the Big Three who have played nearly 2,500 first-class games and are not far from 90,000 games and 9,000 wickets, weaving together their careers and offering a fresh perspective on their legacy .

What the cricketer said: “Pearson, a two-time winner of the MCC/Cricket Association’s Cricket Book of the Year award, has a light hand, and there’s a lot of proof here.“- 4 stars

Click here to buy First of the Summer Wine from Amazon

Click here to buy First of the Summer Wine from Waterstones

11. Wisden Cricketers 2022 Calendar edited by Lawrence Booth

RRP £57 (Bloomsbury, 1536 pages)

Let’s face it… no list of the best cricket books of the year would be complete without Wisden Cricketers’ yearbook. The 2022 edition reads a bit grimly, with a strong focus on the cultural issues of cricket (mainly the Yorkshire racism scandal) and the malaise of the ECB (citing greed, incompetence and ash collapse). At least there’s a batting photo of Joe Root on the cover instead of last year’s poignant image of Stuart Broad wearing a mask!

What the cricketer said: “For many, the arrival of Wisden Cricketers’ yearbook is the unofficial start of summer, and the yellow cover symbolizes the sunny days ahead. But don’t expect flowers and smiles, everything is beautiful. Not this year.“- 4 stars

Click here to buy Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2022 from Amazon

Click here to buy Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2022 from Waterstones

12. Why We Kneeled and How We Rise Michael Holder

RRP £9.99 (Simon & Schuster, 320 pages)

Although Michael Holder’s exploration of how black people are so persecuted that they have to take a knee was originally published in 2021, we use our editorial privilege to include it here because: a) it was featured in the 2022 Annual Sports Book Award; b) released in paperback this year; c) it’s an impressive work, and if you haven’t read it, we wholeheartedly recommend that you pick up a copy now.

What the cricketer said: ““Why We Kneel, How We Rise” by Michael Holding is the most important athlete book you may read. But calling it a sports book doesn’t quite do it justice.“- 5 stars

Click here to buy from Amazon Why We Kneel

Click here to buy from Waterstones Why We Kneel



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