A few suggestions for Chistmas 2007 from Acumen Books: postage and discounts see below

Getting it right

Barrie Meyer has had a lifetime in professional sport, as a cricketer with Gloucestershire, a footballer with Bristol Rovers and Bristol City, and twenty-five years as a first-class and Test match umpire. He made his debut in League football aged eighteen and had many memorable moments as a footballer including as a member of the Rovers side that beat Manchester United in the 1956 FA Cup. Spending his summer months working on Gloucestershire CCC's ground staff, Barrie began keeping wicket for the county in the late 1950s and his steady, reliable performances kept him as their first choice for over a decade.

Joining the first-class umpires list in 1972, he soon became one of the most respected officials in the game, standing in the 1979 and 1983 World Cup Finals and in twenty-six Tests, including Ian Botham's famous mauling of the Australians at Teadingly in 1981. In this, his autobiography, Barrie reflects on his extraordinary career in sport. With a supporting cast including cricket legends such as Botham, Viv Richards, Dickie Bird and Curtly Ambrose, it offers a unique perspective on cricket in the 1970s, '80s and '90s and will fascinate anyone interested in the game.

Also covering his earlier years as a footballer and cricketer, as well as his more recent work on umpire development in South Africa, this book tells the story of a top sportsman who made the most of his talents.

Barrie Meyer & Andrew Hignell

Pbk £14.99


Bluffer's Guide to Cricket


Yapp, Nick




Ashes Frontline : The Ashes War Diaries of Steve Harmison and Justin Langer

"Ashes Frontline" is a unique and truly remarkable insight into the Ashes 2006/07 tour told by two of the world's leading sportsmen as they faced each other in a contest which turned into an Australian whitewash! Following both players and their teams from the first day in Brisbane to 'Stumps' in Sydney, this daily journal records the diary accounts of Justin Langer and Steve Harmison as they experience the immense pressure, demands and rewards both on and off the field of play. Illustrated with fabulous pictures, incorporating moments both public and private, this book acts as a visual souvenir of the tour as well as an opportunity to see what lies behind it. The Ashes contest turned out to be very one-sided and this book will tell of the players' innermost thoughts throughout the event looking at the highs and the lows and ending with victory for Australia and defeat for England.

This Ashes contest will be a turning point for both sides with many Australian players retiring after the event and England having to make some significant changes for the future.

Langer, Justin




Behind the Shades : The Autobiography

Before his resignation in April 2007, Duncan Fletcher had been the most successful England cricket coach of the modern era. In the glorious summer of 2005 Fletcher's management and coaching skills reached their apogee, as England regained the Ashes from Australia for the first time since 1985. Widely acclaimed as the greatest Test series in the history of the game, this five-match contest thrilled the nation with its extraordinary swings of fortune.

It was a personal triumph for Fletcher, and the high point of his tenure as England coach. One of the most experienced and senior figures in the game, Fletcher now looks back over his life and career as he ponders his next step. What was it that drove him from a sporty and competitive Rhodesian farming family to the heights of international cricket? What lessons has he drawn from his successful business career in forging a winning team? Full of telling insights and frank assessments of the players and administrators he has had the pleasure and pain of working alongside, Behind the Shades is the riveting and revelatory autobiography of the man who put the pride back into the England cricket team.

Fletcher, Duncan




Parachutist at Fine Leg : And Other Unusual Occurrences from Wisden 

"Peter the Cat", Aurum's 2006 collection of the most eccentric and unexpected obituaries from "Wisden Cricketer's Almanack", was a very successful first collaboration with "Wisden", making a delightful and elegant little hbk that has already sold over 13,000 copies. Here is the follow-up. At the back of every "Wisden Cricketers' Almanack" is an "Index of Unusual Occurrences", referencing all the strange and indeed surreal things reported throughout its 1600 pages.

"Man in Osama Bin Laden Mask Stops Play", for example, or "Ball lost in umpire's trousers", or "Six smashes spectator's cornet", or even "Glamorghan defeat blamed on seagulls". And all these examples, plus two dozen more, just from the 2006 edition!Now Gideon Haigh, increasingly acclaimed as the best living cricket writer, has compiled a selection of "Wisden's" best and funniest Unusual Occurrences since its earliest days in the last century. It will be another perfect gift at Christmas and for the tea interval at the Test Match.

The key features include: the follow-up to "Peter the Cat", Aurum's first successful collaboration with "Wisden"; trademark yellow cover with Wisden logo and elegant lino-cut illustration; also edited by Gideon Haigh, one of cricket's finest writers; another perfect Christmas gift book at an impulse-buy price; and a handsomely designed and beautifully produced book.

Haigh, Gideon




Penguins Stopped Play : Eleven Village Cricketers Take on the World

It seemed a simple enough idea at the outset: to assemble a team of eleven men to play cricket on each of the seven continents of the globe. Except -- hold on a minute -- that's not a simple idea at all. And when you throw in incompetent airline officials, amorous Argentine Colonels' wives, cunning Bajan drug dealers, gay Australian waiters, overzealous American anti-terrorist police, idiot Welshmen dressed as Santa Claus, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and whole armies of pitch-invading Antarctic penguins, you quickly arrive at a whole lot more than you bargained for.

Harry Thompson's hilarious book tells the story of one of those great idiotic enterprises that only an Englishman could have dreamed up, and only a bunch of Englishmen could possibly have wished to carry out.

Thompson, Harry




Raiders of the Caribbean

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When the Irish Cricket Team qualified for the last eight of the cricket world cup in the West Indies, they opened up many people's eyes to the mere existence of the sport in Ireland. The very English game of cricket has been played in Ireland for more than two centuries but it was only when a special group of players came together that international success was enjoyed. Captain Trent Johnston and journalist Gerard Siggins trace the long and difficult journey Irish cricket had to make to reach the World Cup, as well as the story of Ireland's amazing victories over two of the world's best teams: Pakistan and Bangladesh.

With a preface by Brian Lara, this is a must for everyone who was intrigued and delighted by the success 

Johnston, Trent




Searching for Heroes : Fifty Years of Sporting Encounters

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At the cutting edge of sport, where winners go one way and losers the other, Ian Wooldridge made his living as a journalist. His shrewd eye went straight to the heart of sport's pressure situations, unerringly detecting courage in the competitors, and raising the spirits of his readers with his celebration of genuine heroism. His style was at one and the same time convulsively amusing and acidic.

He saw the funny side, yet he was merciless in his search for the truth."Searching for Heroes" includes his articles on his heroes - including Mohammed Ali, Shane Warne and George Best - as well as articles on events and personalities that were on the receiving end of his more acerbic commentaries. Wooldridge brought back to modern sports journalism a polish, an intelligence and an idealism that had become somewhat tarnished. These qualities made him so much more than a press room scribbler, a routine writer who just asks his mates for the turning point in the match, phones in his copy and thinks, sod it, it's only a game.

To Ian Wooldridge, it was more than a game. It was a life.

Wooldridge, Ian




Stiff Upper Lips and Baggy Green Caps

Peppered with bouncers, expletives, and even the odd diplomatic incident, "Stiff Upper Lips and Baggy Green Caps" is a rip-roaring journey through 124 years of Ashes history. In September 1882, The Sporting Times published a mock obituary for English cricket, and a great sporting rivalry was born. Relations between England and Australia have never been the same since.

Every other year, the two teams gather for the traditional frenzy of backbiting, finger-pointing and dubious facial hair. For a list of every Ashes century and five-wicket haul, try Wisden, but if you want to know which England batsman was a martyr to syphilis and which Australian fast bowler reckoned the Queen had 'nice legs for an old Sheila', then read on..."Stiff Upper Lips and Baggy Green Caps" exposes the seamy side of Ashes cricket - the inside story behind controversies from the Bodyline series of 1932-33 to the Lillee and Thomson blitzkrieg of 1974-75. It profiles great players from W.G.Grace to K.P. Pietersen, and captures choice examples of the dark art of 'sledging'.

Briggs, Simon




The Daily Telegraph Book of Cricket

Remarkably, a paper as committed to sports coverage as the "Telegraph" has never collected all its best cricket writing over the years into one volume. Now, Nick Hoult, who covers cricket for the paper's sports desk, has filled that gap. There is a wealth of material.

The early coverage from the start of the twentieth century, is evocative reportage, ranging from the deaths of W.G. Grace and Victor Trumper and the exploits of C.B. Fry, through Douglas Jardine's own self-penned column on the Bodyline series, to "Jim" Swanton's magisterial distillations of Don Bradman's Ashes performances.

From the seventies, however, sports journalism evolved into features, profiles and analysis, with for The Telegraph the superb writing of Tony Lewis on, for example, Clive Lloyd's all-conquering West Indians and the first World Cup. Then, into the nineties the more whimsical and personal cricket writing from the likes of Martin Johnson, Mark Nicholas and Simon Hughes, covering both keenly fought Tests and the most bucolic county match at Bournemouth, with Barry Richards hammering a hundred before lunch

Hoult, Nick




Monty's Turn : My Story So Far

It's hard to believe Monty Panesar only arrived on the international cricketing scene in March 2006. His electric performances against India and in the Ashes series have seen him catapulted to cult hero status in a matter of months, and widely rated as England's best spin bowler for 30 years. In “Monty's Turn”, Panesar takes a look at his extraordinary rise to stardom.His formative cricket years were not those of the typical English cricketer.

Taught spin bowling by a friend of his father, Hitu Naik, his first experience of league cricket was with the Luton Town and Indians CC, a team that played in the Hertfordshire League. His raw talent soon brought him to the attention of other clubs, and saw him signed to Northamptonshire before he had completed his degree at Loughborough. Since his call-up to the England senior squad, Panesar's life has been a whirlwind of headlines and hero worship.

One of the few positives to come out of England's Ashes tour of Australia this year, his tally of 5 wickets for 92 runs on his opening appearance in the 3rd Test lifted English spirits and secured his place in the nation's affections. He has declared his ambition to be the best, and it would seem that the now it truly is time for Monty's Turn.

Panesar, Monty




Cricket Lexicon

Cricket - perhaps more than any other sport - has a language that delights those who know it, and confuses those who don't. While some of us have never actually heard the sound of leather on willow, everybody has heard of bowling a googly and playing a straight bat. But few know what terms like doosra and dobber mean, and how to use them like a connoisseur.

From Kennington to Kensington, from Melbourne to Mumbai, talk of cricket (on and off the field) is both well-mannered and bluntly offensive, confusing and crystal-clear, old-world and cutting-edge. To ease the way through these corridors of uncertainty, Leigh and Woodhouse invite you to join them on tour - so next time you talk about the game, you will be giving it some humpty. What do Australians mean when they talk of mollygrubbers or sandshoe-crushers? What are Manhattans and Wagon Wheels doing in the most English of sports? How do you tell flypaper hands from popadom fingers?

Leigh, John




Cricketer 2008 Loveliest Grounds Calender 

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Cricket for Dummies 

Whether you're a weekend cricketer or aspiring armchair expert, "Cricket For Dummies" helps you make sense of this fascinating sport. Not just a jargon busting guide to cricket's laws, techniques and tactics, it also contains advice on kitting yourself out and provides lessons on playing the game and improving your batting, bowling and fielding skills. For the budding fan, there's a guide to the greatest players, the memorable matches, and a tour through the cricketing scene - both domestic and international - giving you the knowledge you need to fully appreciate this special game.

Julian Knight is a BBC journalist, writer, and cricket enthusiast. He is a former youth coach and captain, and has been a club cricketer for over 20 years. Consultant Editor Gary Palmer played first class cricket for ten years with Somerset before becoming a professional coach.

By Knight, J. Foreword by Bull, Steve
Edited by Palmer, Gary Vincent

Pbk £15.99


All the above books are post free in UK. If you buy three or more, then 5% discount applies. Please send cheque with order to 167 Nantwich Road, Audley, ST7 8DL. Allow 3 weeks for delivery. Orders must arrive with us by Saturday 8th December to guarantee Christmas availability.