Maximilian Hildebrand

Pavilion Despot

Herding Cats: The Art of Amateur Cricket Captaincy

By

Bloomsbury 244pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Anyone who’s ever taken part in a Sunday cricket match will have some great stories to support the truth that it is the superior form of the game: trekking out each weekend to play hilariously named teams at wildly varied venues and pitches, some indistinguishable from a construction site, some Wodehousian idylls; turning up three players short and an hour late and yet winning with the help of a novice American plucked from the boundary rope who can’t hold a bat vertical but can slog thirty runs in an over. My own favourites as an amateur captain include a sumptuous half-century by a batsman high on magic mushrooms, the abject terror of it all heightening his senses, and one of my team-mates going to join the opposition for the remainder of a match, so furious was he that I had put him at nine in the batting order instead of his usual three.

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