The Meaning of Cricket
Cricket does strange things to you. It is a team game that is almost entirely dependent on individual performance. Its combination of time, opportunity and the constant threat of disaster can drive its participants to despair. To survive a single delivery propelled at almost 100 miles an hour takes the body and brain to the edges of their capabilities, yet its abiding image is of the gentle village green, and the glorious absurdities of the amateur game. In The Meaning of Cricket, Jon Hotten attempts to understand this fascinating, frustrating and complex sport. Blending legendary players, from Vivian Richards to Mark Ramprakash, Kevin Pietersen to Ricky Ponting, with his own cricketing story, he explores the funny, moving and melancholic impact the game can have on an individual life.
"Memory and meditation twirled into a lovesong: Jon Hotten hits it out of the park" -- William Fiennes "Hotten is not just good, he is one of the best... He has the eye for a beautifully judged phrase" -- Richard Whitehead Cricketer "An eccentric mix of anecdote, personal memoir, historical observation, technical analysis and psychological insight." -- Matthew Syed The Times "Simultaneously playful and packed with insight ... All cricketing life is here... Hotten's writing is accessible and often moving" -- Ben East Observer "A beautifully written meditation on the joys of summer and the tricks played by memory on the ageing sportsman. Humane and dryly humorous." -- Tom Holland Evening Standard, Book of the Year "[It] is accessible, fun and elegantly written." -- Hilary Mantel New Statesman, Book of the Year "A collection of Jon Hotten's writing that is lively with insight and anecdote, and informed by the persona of the knowledgeable and fascinated practitioner... On amateur cricket Jon is alternately hilarious and poignant, but it's when he's in his almost-a-pro-yet-somehow-not-quite vein that he truly breaks out. He considers cricket's capacity for revealing us to ourselves." -- Gideon Haigh Cric Info
Jon Hotten is the author of four books, including Muscle and The Years of the Locust, and writes the popular cricket blog The Old Batsman. He co-wrote the award-winning documentary Death of a Gentleman, and his collaboration with the former England bowler Simon Jones, The Test, won the Wisden Almanack's Book of the Year award in 2016.