THERE IS A chapter in Tim Heald's enjoyable Village Cricket that is worth the cover price alone. At its beginning, the author states that his earliest ideas, and prejudices, about cricket were formed by the written word, and that 'The more I considered writing about cricket the more I reflected on reading about it.' Indeed, I don't know of another sport that has stimulated so much writing. Heald believes there have been more than 10,000 books published on cricket.
C L R James's Beyond the Boundary is still considered to be the best book ever written on the subject (even though it judges the difference between first-class and village cricket to be the same as that between good cricket and bad). Then there is The Pickwick Papers (the author's