The most recommended books about cricket (sport)

Who picked these books? Meet our 13 experts.

13 authors created a book list connected to cricket, and here are their favorite cricket books.
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Book cover of Cricket: A History of its Growth & Development throughout the World

Duncan Stone Author Of Different Class: The Untold Story of English Cricket

From my list on cricket histories.

Who am I?

A historian interested in the ‘cultural war’ over the legitimate form, function and meaning of sport, it is strange to look back and consider how ignorant I was of the class and cultural dynamics that shaped cricket in England until I began studying sport in my early thirties. Why, for instance, was English cricket ‘posh’ when compared to Australia? And why, within England, did the North and South have completely different cricket cultures and regional identities? These were questions I began to address in earnest and, a short twenty years later, I believe I finally have the answers. I could not have done it without these books. Enjoy! 

Duncan's book list on cricket histories

Duncan Stone Why did Duncan love this book?

Although a book that bites off more than it may comfortably chew, Bowen’s masterpiece could not be ignored. As the first (and only) attempt to tell the history of cricket on a global scale, Bowen’s analysis may appear, considering subsequent research, a tad superficial in places. However, as a point of reference, it is a remarkable – unique even – book that has belatedly been recognised as a classic. 

Why the delay? Bowen, as the game’s first maverick historian, was not only adept at exposing the inferior scholarship that then passed for cricket history, he also took great pleasure in baiting the establishment and those who thought they were part of it. As such, it is upon his shoulders, rather than James perhaps, that fellow ‘revisionists’ Birley, Marqusee, and myself stand upon.

By Rowland Bowen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cricket as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of My Favourite Cricket Stories

Stuart Larner Author Of Guile and Spin

From my list on cricket that will bowl you over.

Who am I?

I am a writer who has written an assortment of over a hundred and seventy different articles, poems, and books. I love cricket and have spent a lot of my life unsuccessfully learning how to play it. It still has a fascination for me. I am also a psychologist, and cricket has given me an even deeper understanding of human life.

Stuart's book list on cricket that will bowl you over

Stuart Larner Why did Stuart love this book?

This is a total gem of a book. It is a collection of all the best classic short stories about cricket that there are.

They have the Arthur Conan Doyle one called "The Story of Spedegue’s Dropper". This will always be my favourite. I roared with laughter at the Furniss Drawings in the book –  caricatures of WG Grace reprinted with permission from MCC. But besides these there are little gems collected from obscure sources, each of them brilliant in their own right.

Very rarely do you have anything so good in one volume. 

Book cover of Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man

Fiona Walker Author Of The Country Set

From my list on heart-warming and uplifting fiction about horses.

Who am I?

I’ve always loved horses, in real life and fiction. I guzzled up pony stories as soon as I was old enough to read, then I started writing them, tales of teenage orphans adopted by distant aunts who lived in crumbling stately piles with fields full of ponies. When I started writing fiction for a living, it stood to reason horses would feature, and three decades after one trotted into my debut novel French Relations – then galloped off into the sunset in its sequel Well Groomed - they’re still a mainstay. Of the twenty novels I’ve written, more than half have horses at their heart, including my new Comptons series. 

Fiona's book list on heart-warming and uplifting fiction about horses

Fiona Walker Why did Fiona love this book?

This first of Sassoon’s semi-biographical Sherston trilogy is a nostalgic amble along Edwardian English lanes, across its village greens, and over its hedges, tracing the early years of likeable, witty George Sherston before the Great War. It depicts a bygone era of pearl-clutching maiden aunts, rumbustious village cricket matches, and the rigours of the hunting field, in which enthusiastic recruit George is a terrific observer of the larger-than-life characters he encounters. He is winningly grateful to his horses for being so much better at it than him, from flighty first pony Sheila to trusty hunter Harkaway, and ‘bargain’ point-to-pointer Cockbird who is gifted to the cavalry at the book’s close, just as George accepts his commission to the Flintshire Fusiliers to fight in the Great War, saying farewell to his halcyon childhood. Sassoon, famous for his war poetry, is such a warm and intelligent writer that his affection for characters…

By Siegfried Sassoon,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first volume in Siegfried Sassoon’s beloved trilogy, The Complete Memoirs of George Sherston, with a new introduction by celebrated historian Paul Fussell

A highly decorated English soldier and an acclaimed poet and novelist, Siegfried Sassoon won fame for his trilogy of fictionalized autobiographies that wonderfully capture the vanishing idylls of Edwardian England and the brutal realities of war.

In this first novel of the semiautobiographical George Sherston trilogy, Sassoon wonderfully captures the vanishing idylls of the Edwardian English countryside. Never out of print since its original publication in 1928, when it won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, Sassoon's…


Book cover of The Poetry of Cricket

Mark Pirie Author Of Slips: Cricket Poems

From my list on cricket literature if the match is rain affected.

Who am I?

I’m a New Zealand writer, publisher, and editor, who has followed cricket since I was a boy. I've published poetry on many sports, including cricket, football, rugby, tennis, surfing, and netball, and edited/published anthologies of New Zealand cricket and football poems, "A Tingling Catch" and "Boots". My reading on the subject of cricket literature led me to seek out many different books and writers on a subject I didn’t think had an extensive history. I've played club cricket and schoolboy cricket and have a wide knowledge of the game from reading about its history and have visited cricket grounds such as Lord’s in London. I have been dubbed the “Poet-in-Residence” at The Cricket Society.

Mark's book list on cricket literature if the match is rain affected

Mark Pirie Why did Mark love this book?

A book I found second-hand so it may not be widely available online. It is the quintessential anthology on the poetry of cricket dating back over 200 years and was described as a history in verse of the British national summer pastime. This was the book that first led to my interest in cricket literature and gives a meticulous history of cricket in poetry. All forms of cricket (club, village, schools, test, and international) are mentioned just as all forms of verse are used from doggerel, couplets, and single quatrains to longer narrative heroic poems on olden day cricket. The anthology shows Frewin’s great love of cricket and is a labour of love making it a masterpiece at the time it appeared in the 1960s.

By Leslie Frewin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Poetry of Cricket as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Poetry of Cricket An Anthology


Book cover of The Cricketers Companion

Mark Pirie Author Of Slips: Cricket Poems

From my list on cricket literature if the match is rain affected.

Who am I?

I’m a New Zealand writer, publisher, and editor, who has followed cricket since I was a boy. I've published poetry on many sports, including cricket, football, rugby, tennis, surfing, and netball, and edited/published anthologies of New Zealand cricket and football poems, "A Tingling Catch" and "Boots". My reading on the subject of cricket literature led me to seek out many different books and writers on a subject I didn’t think had an extensive history. I've played club cricket and schoolboy cricket and have a wide knowledge of the game from reading about its history and have visited cricket grounds such as Lord’s in London. I have been dubbed the “Poet-in-Residence” at The Cricket Society.

Mark's book list on cricket literature if the match is rain affected

Mark Pirie Why did Mark love this book?

The Cricketer’s Companion, edited by Alan Ross, is an indispensable compilation of cricket stories/prose, accounts of great players and the poetry of cricket. Ross was the literary editor of renowned London Magazine and a sports enthusiast. This anthology has something for everyone and is eminently worth dipping into. A rich and wide ranging choice by Ross, he was quoted as saying that “I aimed at two things – the creating of a book that contained the most essential and enjoyable writing on cricket, and one that gave as inclusive a view as possible of the great landmarks.” It was aimed for those shipwrecked on an island perhaps as it includes everything you would need to know about cricket to survive if you couldn’t get to a match.

By Alan Ross (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cricketers Companion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Keith rated it 4 of 5 stars: A delightful book that I have dipped into on many occasions over the years. It is that sort of book -- you can pass a few minutes or spend half a day reading selections. Edited by Alan Ross, it contains cricket stories, tales of great matches, essays on great players and men and moments, plus some lovely poetry about the summer game. And some of the finest writers on cricket are here: R.C. Robertson-Glasgow, Neville Cardus, Ray Robinson, A.A. Thomson, Jack Fingleton, etc. A treasury and a treasure!


Book cover of The Lighter Side of Cricket

Stuart Larner Author Of Guile and Spin

From my list on cricket that will bowl you over.

Who am I?

I am a writer who has written an assortment of over a hundred and seventy different articles, poems, and books. I love cricket and have spent a lot of my life unsuccessfully learning how to play it. It still has a fascination for me. I am also a psychologist, and cricket has given me an even deeper understanding of human life.

Stuart's book list on cricket that will bowl you over

Stuart Larner Why did Stuart love this book?

I love this book for its twists and jokes.

It’s full of little stories and you think at the beginning of each one that that it’s going to describe an interesting situation from a serious point of view. So you wait for the ending. But it suddenly turns at the last and gives you a totally unexpected comical twist.

I have heard a lot of cricket stories but I hadn’t heard the one about WG Grace before. This book is a diamond mine.

Book cover of Josephine Against the Sea

Melissa Hope Author Of Sea of Kings

From my list on kids at odds with the sea.

Who am I?

The first time I realized I'd fallen in love with the sea was when I was seven years old watching Flipper. Growing up in Canada, I longed to trade my snow shovel for a snorkel. Years later, I received my Bachelor’s in English and moved to the Florida coast with my Marine-Biologist husband, where the humidity curled my hair, iguanas blocked my parking spot, and real dolphins swam beside our boat. I wrote Sea of Kings so kids could take home the magic of the Caribbean. You can find my free writing tutorials on YouTube under HopeFullHappenings.  

Melissa's book list on kids at odds with the sea

Melissa Hope Why did Melissa love this book?

Josephine Against the Sea was a new find for me since it debuted in 2021, but I instantly connected with the trouble-maker main character. Josephine is desperate to keep her father from finding love after her mother dies, but when a vengeful sea creature tries to steal her father's heart, she must use her talent to save him before it's too late. 

I loved learning about Josephine's Caribbean culture living in Barbados. It was also intriguing to read how Shakirah Bourne tackled a mother's death and its effects on the father, as this is a struggle my own characters face in my book.

By Shakirah Bourne,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Josephine Against the Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Meet Josephine, the most loveable mischief-maker in Barbados, in a magical, heartfelt adventure inspired by Caribbean mythology.

“A heart-wrenching adventure with big laughs and well-earned surprises.” --Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

Eleven-year-old Josephine knows that no one is good enough for her daddy. That's why she makes a habit of scaring his new girlfriends away. She's desperate to make it onto her school's cricket team because she'll get to play her favorite sport AND use the cricket matches to distract Daddy from dating.

But when Coach Broomes announces that girls can't try out for the team, the frustrated Josephine cuts into…


Book cover of The Cricket War: The Story of Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket

Duncan Stone Author Of Different Class: The Untold Story of English Cricket

From my list on cricket histories.

Who am I?

A historian interested in the ‘cultural war’ over the legitimate form, function and meaning of sport, it is strange to look back and consider how ignorant I was of the class and cultural dynamics that shaped cricket in England until I began studying sport in my early thirties. Why, for instance, was English cricket ‘posh’ when compared to Australia? And why, within England, did the North and South have completely different cricket cultures and regional identities? These were questions I began to address in earnest and, a short twenty years later, I believe I finally have the answers. I could not have done it without these books. Enjoy! 

Duncan's book list on cricket histories

Duncan Stone Why did Duncan love this book?

It’s a small world as they say. And the world of cricket is undoubtedly smaller as I know Gideon. This said, I would defy any serious appraisal of cricket’s historical literature to exclude one of his many excellent books on the game. 

I have, however, chosen his first which covers one of the most momentous events in the game’s global history: the creation of a new competition called World Series Cricket (WSC) by the Australian TV mogul Kerry Packer that, ultimately, led to the game’s renaissance. As much as the story, and the various characters involved, are superbly researched the story of WSC, as Haigh acknowledges himself, "could just as easily be a text on television economics, or marketing, or sociology, even anthropology." It remains, therefore, a very important book.

By Gideon Haigh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cricket War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of The Times' 50 Greatest Sports Books

In May 1977, the cricket world awoke to discover that a thirty-nine-year-old Sydney Businessman called Kerry Packer had signed thirty-five elite international players for his own televised 'World Series'. The Cricket War is the definitive account of the split that changed the game on the field and on the screen.

In helmets, under lights, with white balls, and in coloured clothes, the outlaw armies of Ian Chappell, Tony Greig and Clive Lloyd fought a daily battle of survival. In boardrooms and courtrooms Packer and cricket's rulers fought a bitter war of nerves.…


Book cover of 'Til the Well Runs Dry

Callie Browning Author Of The Girl with the Hazel Eyes

From my list on the power (and danger) of love.

Who am I?

I’m an award-winning author whose books are all set on my beautiful island of Barbados. Reading and writing have always been a part of my life and I’m obsessed with books that explore other cultures and lifestyles. There’s nothing more intoxicating than reading about new foods and new environments all interconnected by our shared humanity. They could be fantasy books with great world-building or literary fiction that explore a tiny Asian city I never heard about. All of these incredible books have influenced my writing and expanded my knowledge of the world around me. 

Callie's book list on the power (and danger) of love

Callie Browning Why did Callie love this book?

This story is a remarkable tale of family, love, loss, and belonging. And it’s also based on a true story!

The book was so rich and well done. The author does a remarkable job of taking the reader to 1940s to 1960s Trinidad.

Marcia Garcia works as a seamstress while raising two small boys as she attracts the interest of a dashing policeman. Marrying him complicates her life and eventually starts to unravel the family secret that she has been safeguarding for years. 

By Lauren Francis-Sharma,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 'Til the Well Runs Dry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times Sunday Book Review Shortlist
Black Caucus of the American Library Association 2015 Honor Book in Fiction
Booklist Starred Review
O, The Oprah Magazine "10 Titles to Pick Up Now"

"Lauren Francis-Sharma's talent shines."-USA Today

A glorious and moving multigenerational, multicultural saga that sweeps from the 1940s through the 1960s in Trinidad and the United States. 'Til the Well Runs Dry opens in a seaside village in the north of Trinidad, where young Marcia Garcia, a gifted and smart-mouthed sixteen-year-old seamstress, lives alone, raising two small boys and guarding a family secret. When she meets Farouk Karam,…


Book cover of The Midnight Gang

Louise Blackwick Author Of 5 Stars

From Louise's 8-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Entrepreneur Illustrator Speed reader Philanthropist

Louise's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Louise's 6, 8, and 13-year-old's favorite books.

Louise Blackwick Why did Louise's 8-year-old love this book?

My friend’s kid adores The Midnight Gang. There is so much excitement, magic, and wholesomeness jumping from the page that your child will absolutely beg you to read them another page.

Since the story reframes a hospital ward as a place of adventure and thrill, where children can make their wildest dreams come true, this book is an ideal read during times of sickness or hospitalization.

The Midnight Gang is funny, adventurous, and thought-provoking, featuring Tom Charper, his gang of rebels, and their side-splitting shenanigans.

Children will especially love the book’s charming hand-drawn illustrations, which are sometimes mixed with puns and nursery rhymes.

By David Walliams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Midnight Gang as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

Welcome to the Midnight Gang! Midnight is the time when all children are fast asleep, except of course for... the Midnight Gang. That is when their adventures are just beginning...

When Tom gets hit on the head by a cricket ball, he finds himself at Lord Funt Hospital, and is greeted by a terrifying-looking porter. Things go from bad to worse when he meets the wicked matron in charge of the children's ward... But Tom is about to embark on the most thrilling journey of a lifetime!

The Midnight Gang tells an extraordinarily heartwarming and, of course, funny story of…