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Cricket is undergoing its most radical upheaval since the "Packer Revolution" of the late 1970s. Twenty20 and the Indian Premier League, seen as a short cut to riches by both players and administrators, threaten the future of Test cricket; the County Championship, the traditional but increasingly moribund nursery for England's Test players, struggles to reinvent itself; technology is eroding the authority of umpires.
The age-old weave of the game is being slowly unpicked and rearranged for the modern, global age. 2009 may even be the last summer of cricket as we know it. Against this backdrop Duncan Hamilton embarks on an elegiac odyssey in which he aims to capture the spirit and atmosphere of English cricket before its character is irrevocably altered.
The stopping-points of his journey and the framework on which he hangs his thoughts and observations are 14 significant cricket matches played over the course of the 2009 season from an Ashes Test match to a game of village cricket, from a brash Twenty20 encounter attended by thousands to a sleepy county game watched by five pensioners and a dog.
He not only explores such issues as the future of the County Championship and the financial pressures faced by the wider game, but also creates vivid sketches of players, umpires, administrators, and the people who pay (and even suffer) to watch cricket.
Combining reportage, anecdote, biography, history and personal recollection, A Last English Summer is an honest and passionate reflection on cricket's past, present, and future. A memorable and acutely observed portrait of one summer of cricket from an award-winning sports writer who has watched and loved ;cricket since he was a boy, it is essential reading for anyone who cares about the English game.
About the Author
Duncan Hamilton's Provided You Don't Kiss Me won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year for 2007 and a British Sports Book Award in 2008. In 2009, he was awarded the William Hill, again, for Harold Larwood, as well as winning the prestigious Wisden Book of the Year for 2009 and biography of the year at the 2010 British Sports Book Awards. He lives in West Yorkshire.
Ideal for cricket enthusiasts and particularly relevant in the changing world of the game. It is a book for all those who have eagerly played in local games as well as being spectators at international level.
A Last English Summer
'[Hamilton's] passion and knowledge shine through ... a rich and nostalgic read' The Independent. 'Hamilton's mix of reportage, observation, history and anecdote never fails to hold the reader's interest. The quality of his writing, so evident in his previous works, shines again' Mike Atherton, The Times. 'Combining reportage, anecdote, history and personal recollection, a Last English Summer is an honest and passionate reflection on cricket's past, present and future. A memorable and acutely observed portrait of one summer of cricket from an award-winning sports writer, it is essential reading for anyone who cares about the English game' Yorkshire Evening Post. 'If anyone can meld cricket, social commentary and memoir, it's this double William Hill Sports Book Of The Year winner' Metro. '[Hamilton] demonstrates a thorough understanding of how to bring a game to life. You will not find here any bland sentences trotting out what is obvious from a glance at the scorecard, and everything that is written adds something to what has already been said... It is not just the way the game was played in years gone by that Hamilton's book harks back to. His writing, particularly by virtue of his liberal use of similes and metaphors, contains many shades of sepia and has much of the romanticism of Cardus about it... Were it just for its core contents this would be an excellent book but there are other features that deserve to be noticed' Cricketweb. 'The gentle crack of leather on willow - that classical English sound - has rarely been brought to life quite so delightfully as in Hamilton's wonderful new book. Combining good old-fashioned journalism, beautifully observed writing and his own recollections, he recounts the story of a single season's cricket from a personal perspective. Famous for his best-selling memoir of football manager Brian Clough, and having won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year twice, this author has the knack of bringing people and places to life. Even non-cricket fans will be enthralled by this quality book.' News of the World.
Foreword: A Golden Age Sort of Chap.
Why Don't You Come Back When It's Less Busy?
For the Islands, He Sang.
Taking Tea with Neville Cardus.
See the Conquering Hero Comes.
And Still the Gas-Works...
The Unbelievable Lightness of Fielding.
Yes, I'll Remember Aigburth.
He That Plays the King.
Instead of a Telegram.
It's a Clearing Shower in These Parts.
On the Shoulders of Giants.
Riding the Charabanc to Lord's.
The Man in the Unmarked Grave.
The Poet of Penrhyn Avenue.
The Crimson Petal and the White.
First Love, Last Love.
A Moral Lesson from Lord Harris.
The Captain in the Baggy Green.
A Very Perfect Gentle Knight.
Author Notes and Acknowledgements.
Statistics of Summer.
ISBN: 9781849160933 ISBN-10: 1849160937 Audience:
Number Of Pages: 367 Published: 1st July 2010 Country of Publication: GB Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3
Weight (kg): 0.724
Edition Number: 1