Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Innings of a lifetime

I am an unapologetic chucker out of books , a habit I do find hard to satisfy in the age of the Kindle. Archiving is like a low tar version of it- easier to do, less dangerous (on the wallet- how many copies of  Kyril Bonfiglio's Mortdecai trilogy did I end up buying?) but somehow much less satisfying.

Of course in the pre-kindle age this was partly a necessity. Books weren't quite as bad as Videos (ask your dad kids) when it came to eating up the house- we pretty much had a room  just for Buffy box sets- but they were big enough.

The result is that my cricket book library isn't actually as big as it should be for someone who read little else between the ages of about 11 and 15. There is however one blue dust jacketed, medium sized hardback (how could I afford a hardback in that pre- work and  pre-Works world?) that is even older than the oldest nostalgia bat I have kept from the on-field side of that era.

As the title of this page rather gives it away, the book in question is 'Innings of a lifetime'. A collection of pieces about what are, in the main, second tier innings from the 60 s and 70 s rather than the all time greats.  It was written by Ralph Barker  and even more importantly the selection was chosen by him too . The criteria being  "..not so much for their quality as for their human interest." . That I think is what separates this from anything else I had read at the time , and is the main reason for its eternal appeal to me.

I have been reading it again recently and will post about that again. The book is basically a collection of self-contained chapters and so one tends to gravitate towards particular ones. The interesting thing for me was the one I defaulted too as my first read after a few years was Asif Iqbal's vainglorious 146  in a losing cause, in an utterly forgettable series.  Wonder why?

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