Remarkable Village Cricket Grounds, published in October 2018, shows every sign of being a success. It has already been reprinted and readers’ Amazon reviews are unanimously five-star.
RVCG is the follow-up to the highly successful Remarkable Cricket Grounds which has been reprinted twice, was shortlisted for two major sports book prizes, and is still on Amazon’s cricket best-sellers after two years, having spent several months at No.1.
Readers of RCG will feel at home with the new book which follows a similar formula of beautiful illustrations taken by the best photographers, supported by text by myself.
RCG looked at cricket grounds worldwide, but RVCG concentrates on village grounds in England, Scotland and Wales. I enjoyed visiting venues across the country, including the North Yorks Moors, County Durham, the Weald of Kent - arguably where cricket was first played - and the wonderful countryside of the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire. But the book covers village cricket wherever it is played - at the edge of moorland, in front of grand country houses, on wind-blasted hillsides or within six-hitting distance of the Atlantic. Each club has a character of its own which I have tried to catch. Pubs, ancient rollers, protective netting and warning signs for local traffic provide some amusing anecdotes. For a taster, try and get hold of the March 2019 issue of Populous magazine which features 11 of the most interesting grounds.
As we hover on the edge of a new season with the World Cup, the first matches in the World Test Championship and The Ashes to look forward to. village cricket is also preparing to go about its business as it has done for countless seasons. There’s much to enjoy – the wonderfully friendly atmosphere, a good line in banter and, most importantly, excellent teas. The cricket’s not too bad either.