In the absence of anything to watch we have needed cricket literature more than ever this year, and publishers have obliged
We won’t forget 2020 in a hurry and we won’t celebrate it either. Yet the absence of our traditional summer distraction has reminded cricket lovers of what we have been missing. There is impatience at the prospect of the 2021 season and the sheer luxury of sitting in a freezing stand in May and watching a resumption of the early summer rituals. What joy is to be shared when complaining about declining over rates and the disintegration of defensive techniques in the 21st century. There is also the possibility of watching Zak Crawley in the flesh, rather than on a screen, stroking a cover drive to the boundary – and hearing the hum of appreciation from a real crowd.
This year we have needed a refuge from the debris more urgently than ever before and, for some, cricket books have helped to provide that. One sage in the publishing industry explained to me how books “are not only recession-proof, they are also Covid-proof”, even if the vast majority of the sales in recent times have been made by Amazon rather than the bookshop around the corner.