The Meaning of Cricket

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Cricket does strange things to you. It is a team game that is almost entirely dependent on individual performance. Its combination of time, opportunity, and the constant threat of disaster can drive its participants to despair. To survive a single delivery propelled at almost one hundred miles an hour takes the body and brain to the edges of their capabilities, yet its abiding image is of the gentle village green, and the glorious absurdities of the amateur game.

In The Meaning of Cricket, Jon Hotten attempts to understand this fascinating, frustrating and complex sport. Blending legendary players, from Vivian Richards to Mark Ramprakash, Kevin Pietersen to Ricky Ponting, with his own cricketing story, he explores the funny, moving and melancholic impact the game can have on an individual life.


Jon Hotten is the author of four books, including Muscle and The Years Of The Locust, and writes the popular cricket blog The Old Batsman. He co-wrote the award-winning documentary Death Of A Gentleman, and his collaboration with the former England bowler Simon Jones, The Test, won the Wisden Almanack's Book Of The Year award in 2016.


"Engrossing book . . . Hotten explores what it is about cricket that so takes hold of the imagination . . . Reveal[s] the funny, moving and transformative impact the game can have on life." —Bookseller"Memory and meditation twirled into a lovesong: Jon Hotten hits it out of the park." —William Fiennes"Hotten is among the best in the business, as this vivid love letter to the sport proves." —Sport"Hotten is not just good, he is one of the best . . . He has the eye for a beautifully judged phrase . . . Expect him to feature prominently on awards' shortlists this year." —Richard Whitehead, Cricketer"Simultaneously playful and packed with insight . . . All cricketing life is here . . . Hotten’s writing is accessible and often moving . . . It deserves a wider readership." —Ben East, Observer