Marcus Berkmann, author of the cricket classics Rain Men and Zimmer Men, returns to the great game with this gallimaufrey of cricketing trivia, stories and fascinating facts. Which England captain smoked two million cigarettes in his lifetime? Which Australian captain, asked what his favourite animal was, said ‘Merv Hughes’? What did Hitler think of cricket? Which former National Hunt jockey had a dog called Sobers? Who was described in his obituary as ‘perhaps the only unequivocally popular man in Yorkshire’?
No other sport is so steeped in oddness and eccentricity. Within these pages are brief and pithy character portraits of the game’s great and good, and more cricketers’ nicknames than you will ever need. There’s the only Test player ever to be executed for murder, the only first class cricketer to die on the Titanic, and the only bestselling author to catch fire while playing at Lord’s. (It was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The ball hit a box of matches in his pocket.) All cricket is here, including an XI entirely made up of players who share their names with freshwater fish.