Cricket and Soccer, 2022 World Cup Competitions

This year is a big year for sports fans: Cricket World Cup and Soccer World Cup. This blog has selected a range of books about two of the world’s most popular sports and famous players in New Zealand and abroad. Let’s also pay tribute to sports stars who recently passed away: Cricket star Shane Warne, and Rugby star Joeli Vidiri.

On Warne / Haigh, Gideon
“More than a plain life story, this book offers a brilliant portrait of Warnie’s craft, an analysis of his career through the lens of his key relationships and biggest misdemeanours, and a personalised portrait of the man as he evolved from the pizza-scoffing prodigy. Drawing on interviews conducted with Warne over the course of a decade, and two decades of watching him play, the author assesses this greatest of sportsmen as cricketer, character, comrade, newsmaker and national figure.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The official history of the FIFA World Cup / Fédération internationale de football association
“‘The Official History of the FIFA World Cup’ is an authoritative and comprehensive review of the 20 FIFA World Cups. Packed with stunning photography, exclusive interviews of the biggest stars of each edition, unique official documents and statistics from the FIFA World Football Museum. No other event in the sporting world can rival the glamour, impact, fervent following and universal appeal of the FIFA World Cup. ” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Why soccer matters / Pelé
“Fans of the world’s most popular sport have agreed on one thing: the greatest player of all time was Pelé. Now he shares his story, his experience, and his insights on the game. A national treasure, he created pure magic with his accomplishments on the field: an unprecedented three World Cup championships and the all-time scoring record, with 1,282 goals in his twenty year career. Brazil often credited with perfecting the sport – soccer has a unique opportunity to encourage change on a global level.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Playing it my way : my autobiography / Tendulkar, Sachin
“The greatest run-scorer in the history of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar retired in 2013 after an astonishing 24 years at the top. The most celebrated Indian cricketer of all time, he received the Bharat Ratna Award – India’s highest civilian honour. Now Sachin Tendulkar tells his own remarkable story – When a boisterous Mumbai youngster’s excess energies were channelled into cricket, the result was record-breaking schoolboy batting exploits that launched the career of a cricketing phenomenon.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Changing pace : a memoir / Hadlee, Richard
“Memoir by New Zealand’s best cricket player in history, Sir Richard Hadlee. After the peak in cricket career and turmoil in life, he became a cricket ambassador and commentator, and then as the chairman of selectors for New Zealand Cricket. This book reveals the thinking behind the selectors decisions during his tenure, the steady improvement in the national team over that time and the controversial events of the 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa. ” (Adapted from

The meaning of cricket : or, How to waste your life on an inconsequential sport / Hotten, Jon
“Cricket is a team game that is almost entirely dependent on individual performance: almost ninety percent of one side is not taking part. In its combination of time, opportunity, a constant threat of disaster, and its ability to drive its participants to despair, cricket is unrivalled. To survive a single delivery propelled at almost one hundred miles an hour takes the body and brain to the edges of their capabilities.”  (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The World Cup : heroes, hoodlums, high-kicks and head-butts / Hansford, Paul
“This book has a strong, irreverent and humourous writing voice. It concentrates on the stories behind the legends, teams and great matches of the World Cup, putting aside the pundits’ picks for who will win (they invariably get it wrong anyway) and concentrating on the weird, whacky, controversial and legendary moments of the sports. This book covers brilliant tales and heroes and greatest matches which also deserve examination. ” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The Cricket World Cup – 2015

ballFor only the second time in its short life the Cricket World Cup graces the shores of Australia and New Zealand. We’ve seen just over two weeks of competition, but already a lot of history has been made in this tournament. Considered to only be minnows, Ireland stunned all when they slew the giant-like figures of the West Indies. England and Pakistan have continued a poor run of form with both teams only managing a single win each from their three pool matches. And for the first time in over four years the Chappell-Haddle Trophey was up for grabs between New Zealand and Australia. In the nail-biting, down to the last wicket match, New Zealand were guided home by the ever reliable Kane Williamson to claim the trophy. Over the next few weeks the race for who will secure a Quarter Final spot will heat up, so expect the competition to remain fierce. The talent and mental state of this New Zealand side put them in what is arguably the best position they have been in during a Cricket World Cup.

Players to Watch

Tim Southee:
In New Zealand’s rout of England Southee claimed seven wickets along with the best One Day International (ODI) bowling figures for a New Zealander. As the leader of the New Zealand pace attack you can bet he is far from finished in this tournament. Expect plenty more spells of swing and maybe even a few lofty 6’s.

Ross Taylor:
The long-standing backbone of the New Zealand batting line-up has been relatively quiet so far in this World Cup, but when the occasion calls Taylor is always ready to answer. An excellent player of pace and spin alike, he is able to change the speed of a game from sedate to blistering in an instant. Expect a big score when the pressure is on.

Corey Anderson:
Since breaking the then world record for fastest ODI century Anderson has set about his cricket with a work-horse like ethos. A man who is as happy cleaning up the tail as he is chasing down a total, Anderson has proved over the past six months that he has the maturity required to close out a game for New Zealand. Expect the ball to pepper the boundaries and the ladies to swoon.

Records Broken:

First WC Double Century – Chris Gayle
First Double Century by a non-Indian player – Chris Gayle
Fastest 150 – AB de Villiers
Fastest 50 – Brendon McCullum
Most 6s in an Innings –Chris Gayle
Highest Partnership (any wicket) – 372 by Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels
Best figures for a NZ bowler – 7/33 Tim Southee, 3rd best in World Cup (WC record is Glen McGrath 7/10)

Recommended books

Syndetics book coverA complete history of World Cup cricket / Mark Browning and James Grapsas.
“A Complete History of Cricket’s World Cup is a timely addition to the great body of cricket publications. A complete history of every World Cup competition since 1975, this publication will tap into the enormous interest in the ODI game around the world. The book traces the history and development of cricket’s World Cup, from its first tentative steps to the mammoth and wonderful event it has become. Each and every game is covered, but it is a story that goes beyond the mere statistics of matches. The World Cup silenced all the doubters and has established its unchallenged pre-eminence as the premier cricket event over the past 40 years.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverCricket : a modern anthology / Jonathan Agnew.
“Jonathan “Aggers” Agnew, England’s voice of cricket, showcases some of the very best writings on the noble game, from the 1930s to the present day. In this wide-ranging and beautifully-produced anthology, Test Match Special’s Jonathan ‘Aggers’ Agnew, chooses a wide variety of writings on the sport that has consumed his life, from the 1932/33 Ashes (Bodyline) series right up to the present day. In a series of carefully considered, thematically organised reflections, he examines the importance of their contribution to our understanding and appreciation of cricket. With input from several eminent cricketing historians, including the librarian at Lord’s, the book contains a fascinating range of material, from renowned classics to books that have hardly seen the light of day in the United Kingdom (e.g. The Hanse Cronje Story by Garth King); from overseas fiction to modern day autobiographies (Marcus Trescothick, Simon Hughes, Mike Brearley etc.) that have attained classic status. With 75 seminal cricket images, original line drawings and a comprehensive index, this book is a must-have for any self-respecting cricket fan.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverMemorable moments in one day cricket : a compact history / compiled by Peter Murray.
“One Day Cricket has been produced in a unique style resembling a white cricket ball and will provide all cricket enthusiasts with detailed statistics and many memorable moments of one day cricket. The book features the great games, the great players and the great tournaments since the inception of one day cricket in 1962. The book covers cricket innovations such as coloured clothing, World Series Cricket, and the history of the one day cricket World Cups. The perfect Christmas gift for all cricket enthusiasts and a great memento of the game.” (Library catalogue)

From the web:

  1. Kane Williamson hits winning six as New Zealand defeat Australia by one wicket in Cricket World Cup thriller
  2. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 – Home page
  3. ESPN Cricinfo – World Cup 2015
  4. – Cricket World Cup 2015
  5. 3 NEWS – Cricket World Cup 2015