Formulated in the early 17th century and spread across the world through colonisation, cricket is a sport embodying more than just its rulebook. Steeped in cultural and historic importance, the (traditional) 5-day game is a capsule encompassing life and its many waves. Hence, it does not come as a surprise that cricket literature runs deep ranging from journalistic writings capturing the essence of domestic and international matches to great cricketers quoting their experiences of playing the game.
Here are Top 5 biographical books every cricket follower must read.
#5 - A Century Is Not Enough – Sourav Ganguly
One of India’s most successful captain, Sourav Ganguly, reiterates his experiences of the modern cricketing era, his role in shaping a team symbolic of new India - capable of challenging its opposition at home and away, and the pressures which come with leading the largest followed team in the world.
The autobiography, co-authored along with senior sports writer Gautam Bhattacharya is written in a conversational tone, narrating and offering a personal perspective on the significant events during Ganguly’s cricketing journey. It speaks in detail about the infamous Greg Chappell episode, IPL in its early days, the rise of the phenomenon of ‘Dada’ and the self-belief and ‘never-say-die spirit’ that helped him reach the pinnacles of success.
The tome also treats its readers with nuggets about camaraderie in the Indian dressing room, Ganguly’s friendship with Sachin Tendulkar, India’s 2001 Test series win against Australia and also the bare-chested, twirling of the team jersey after India won the Natwest Trophy at Lord’s in 2002, providing a peak into India and India’s cricketing culture of that time.
#4 - Underneath The Southern Cross - Michael Hussey
The end of career biography of the late blooming left-hander Michael Hussey is written as an honest and modest account following his life as a cricketer, his attitude on the field and his perception of peers and Australia’s cricketing culture. He speaks about his struggles to find a place in the Australian setup and also shares his insecurities during his time playing the game.
Hussey, who was part of the golden era of Australian cricket, talks about some of the highs including the 2006-07 Ashes series and speaks candidly about the decline of the team post it and the reasons why it happened.
“Underneath the southern cross”, inspired by the team’s victory song, is a fitting title for a player who achieved the pinnacles of success, both as a cricketer and a person. Loved by all, the story of Michael Hussey is one of perseverance and humility through the lens of cricket.