I have spent some time overseas.  One of the things I have ever missed the most in the non-English speaking world is the lack of ability to turn on the television and hear someone speaking a language I can understand.  One of the few places you can find the English language on the other side of the world is that great journalistic juggernaut – the BBC.  But one of those cultural oddities which the British carry over into both the Commonwealth and the Beeb (as it is affectionately known), is the game of cricket.

I used to spend hours watching broadcasts of cricket on the BBC, hoping to find some semblance of sport or order.  But I never could.  And that is what interested me in Miriam Rice Walcott’s new book, The Spectators Guide To Cricket.

This book is the ultimate beginners guide, and it explains cricket from the ground up.  The book starts, after glowing endorsements from cricket players I have never heard of, with a quick overview of the game.  It is followed by a glossary of terms, explaining so many of the words and phrases which would be used in playing, learning, or speaking about the game.  After that comes a picture guide to the umpire signals, showing what each sign means.  Next comes copies of the scorecard, then a guide to the different positions on the field.  After that are illustrations of the pitch and the wicket and creases, things you will need the glossary to define before you can learn what they are.  Then come pictures of the equipment, a history of the game, and variations on the game.

This book is helpful beyond belief.  I still have next to no clue about what cricket is really like, but if I were to head out to a test match with this book in hand, I would be more than prepared.

This book is available at Amazon.com.

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