Follow-up to best-selling "Remarkable Cricket Grounds" the no.1 on Amazon at Christmas 2016
Remarkable Village Cricket Grounds is the follow-up to the highly successful Remarkable Cricket Grounds which has been reprinted twice, shortlisted for two major sports book prizes and is still in Amazon’s Top Twenty 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.
But whereas RCG looked at cricket grounds worldwide, RVCG concentrates on village grounds in England, Scotland and Wales. Some of them date back to the seventeenth century and are among the oldest grounds where cricket was first played. I was able to do a lot of first-hand research and 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.
The inventory of beautiful and atmospheric grounds includes those played by the seaside, at the edge of moorland, in front of grand country houses or on wind-blasted hillsides. Village cricket is played next to windmills, thatched cottages, trout streams, in the heart of Cotswold stone hamlets, and on many of the country’s much-loved village greens.
There are some classic cricketing pubs included along with lavish teas, ancient pitch rollers, equally ancient club secretaries and a variety of warning signs for those wishing to park their car within slogging distance. Almost all of the venues are located in the kind of set-piece British landscape that will have the tourist boards begging for copies.
Both books have been a co-operative effort involving my editor Frank Hopkinson, who sourced the photographs and took some of them himself, and myself, who wrote the text based on discussions with the devoted and imaginative chairmen, secretaries and groundsmen I met or spoke to. Most of them wear more than one hat within their club and the scope of their work and their dedication constantly amazed me. I hope this comes across in the book.