As MS Dhoni clobbered a six to complete a great come-from-behind victory against Zimbabwe(though it needn't have been that way!), I received a phone call from a friend asking me if I had that book by Mike Brearley, 'The Art of Captaincy'. I obviously didn't and told him accordingly. My mind still on cricket, I looked up my University library's database for cricket books. Apart from 'The British specifications for leather covered Cricket Balls', I couldn't find half a decent title. Cricket books can make for very interesting reading for anyone with a working knowledge of the game. The players trying to get under each others' skins, the strategy behind every move on and off the field, the grit and the determination, the heroic performances and the camaraderie of a team. All great things to read about apart from being a great lesson in team building as well (all you 'organisational behavior' enthusiasts please take note) . Given below are some of the Cricket books I have read, which I actively recommend:
1. The Art of Captaincy (Mike Brearley) : One of the finest books written on leadership in sport, this masterpiece was the first instance of a writer applying principles of sport leadership to more general or business leadership. Very well written, replete with apt examples and still very relevant, this book is a must read.
Key takeaway: Brearley's man management skills - his knack of perfectly gauging each players' mental make up and using that knowledge to build team harmony.
2. A Corner of a Foreign Field: The Indian History of a British Sport (Ramchandra Guha) : A great book about the history of the sport in India. The author delves into the British colonization of the country, the history of Bombay and how the sport got to where it is today. Guha's writing is insightful and he lists key matches, innings, and events which have shaped the sport here. Fascinating read.
Key Takeaway: A great book about the history of Cricket in India. Snapshots of key cricketing moments in Indian Cricket.
3. The Cricketer Book of Cricket Disasters and Bizarre Records (Christopher Martin-Jenkins) : What can one say of the indomitable 'CMJ'? This book a great read. A humorous take on the game, it contains some genuinely funny incidents that occurred in various moments on the Cricket time-line. At just over 100 pages, it is a short book, with cartoons et all, urging the reader not to take the game too seriously.
Key Takeaway: Nothing other some good laughs and some interesting records!