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4.4 out of 5 stars24
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I seem to be building up quite a collection of these Dummies books. They all employ a rather whimsical style and vary from extremely good to quite poor. Cricket for Dummies I would rate as pretty average.

The good points are that the basics of bowling, batting and fielding are pretty well covered and illustrated with nice clear diagrams. Furthermore the somewhat complex method of correctly filling out a cricket score-book is described in explicit detail here (I've been playing for over 20 years and some of my peers still shy away from doing the scoring!). The historical material about cricket feats and most memorable matches is fascinating and full of those cricketing facts you will wish to commit to memory.

On the downside, there are some dubious statements - e.g. they claim that bat handle sizes are short, normal or long. In my experience, 95% of bats are SH and 5% are LH. I have not seen any "NH"! They also claim that "A bat can be for life". Nonsense! Even if carefully maintained, a bat will seldom last a regular player more than 2 or 3 seasons (I tend to play 3 times a week in the Summer and then in the Winter indoor league, so perhaps I'm not typical?). Still on bats, only a couple of pages are devoted to choosing the right one, but there's not a single mention of the "Mongoose" style - a curious omission. One element of cricket which remains something of a mystery to me is the (in)famous Duckworth/Lewis method for calculating the result of a game cut short due to the weather. I was therefore looking forward to a detailed explanation of the method's intricacies. Instead, whilst 2 pages are devoted to Duckworth/Lewis, it's almost entirely waffle, cumulating with advice to go and buy the spreadsheet from the University of of West of England! There's some other trite advice, including if you drink too much at a cricket match you may fall asleep!

OK, so I'm being perhaps a bit overly critical. I'm an experienced amateur player and cricket fan and probably know more about our Glorious Summer Game than the average punter. For a beginner wishing to know more about cricket, this book still has a lot to offer.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Cricket for Dummies is a fairly comprehensive guide to summer's great game, both from the point of view of the advancing player and the watcher. Alongside the obligatory explanations of the laws of cricket and what to watch out for, there is a good section on technique, captaincy and preparing to play, going down as far as what kind of cricket bag to choose. This is a good book for a teenager who wants to improve their game, or even for a baffled non-cricketer trying to figure out what is going on.

I haven't played cricket properly for years, and I wasn't much good when I did play it, so I ran this book by a friend who used to play for Warwickshire, and my wife who is Dutch and considers the game to be a piece of English eccentricity. The cricketer thought it contained some pretty good stuff, though he felt it went beyond its brief of being 'for dummies'. He especially commented on the section about choosing your cricket bag -- really one for the enthusiast than for the armchair player or beginner. My wife thought it was all clear, though she still doesn't seem to have got the cricket bug.

I liked this book. If I'd had it when I was a teenager, it's conceivable that I would have been a much better cricketer than I ever was, as I was exactly the kind of teenager who devoured books like these, memorised them, and practised all the moves at home.

If you're thinking of giving this as a gift, though, remember that someone may be insulted by the title!
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VINE VOICEon 5 October 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I love cricket and have played and watched it all my life....A truly great game....BUT.....also a complicated game....This book is excellent for paople who know a lot and people who know nothing about the game....

It includes chapters on the rules, the cultural significance in different countries and why we love to listen to it on the radio....It even has a cool diagram showing what the arm movements of the umpire mean....

Overall, a good buy if you just want to know what its all about or if you just want an easy way to check things.....

EXCELLENT!!
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VINE VOICEon 1 September 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Dummies series of books are now well established and, as always, easy to read, navigate and full of a wealth of information. Many years ago I was slung in the deep end at an office job where they used Windows about which I knew nothing. A quick nip out to the bookshop in my lunch hour, a purchase of Windows for Dummies and I never looked back. I still have that battered old copy and it is still helpful.

I am a cricket lover and when the Test Matches are on go into purdah and my friends know not to disturb me. I flatter myself I know a fair bit about it, I can talk quite learnedly on ground and cover conditions, know the difference between a Flipper and a Yorker but the erudite bits about field placings and tactics still leave me confused.

So this book is perfect. I can skip the bits about which I have knowledge and find out what I want to know to fill in the gaps where I am still ignorant and one of those gaps is field placings. I know Silly Mid On and Slip and Gully and probably third man but the rest elude me and when the pundits are talking about an attacking or a defensive field and list the field places I get bogged down. No more. With this beside me I shall soon know what is what.

As well as all this there is a fascinating chapter on seam bowling, the tactics of captaining a team, the different formats of cricket that we can now see and then a list of the Ten Greatest Ever Cricketers which I have slight reservations about but no matter. We all have our own individual favourites.

A simply terrific book and it will stay by me when I am glued to the next Ashes series which starts in a few months time. Defo a five star book.
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on 12 November 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Cricket has been my favourite sport for over 30 years, and I've read countless volumes from its extensive body of fine literature. This paperback doesn't qualify among them, however it is still an excellent primer on the greatest sport ever devised. In fact, no less a person than Sir Harold Pinter insists it is the greatest sport GOD (my capitals) ever invented.

'Cricket for Dummies' explains the laws of the game - including a lucid interpretation of all the ins-and-outs of the LBW law - which often leaves non-converts scratching their heads in total bafflement. It also gives you all the terminology attached to the sport, identifies the great players, explains the different forms of the game, and delineates why Test Cricket is the ultimate test of a cricketer, amid all the comparative fripperies of One Day and Twenty 20 cricket. And a whole lot more besides.

One or two things in here surprised even me so I can whole-heartedly recommend it as an interesting and informative read to those just getting interested in the game.
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on 17 November 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am only a casual fan of cricket but I really enjoyed this. As an introduction it works very well.
It is easy to follow and understand. There is a bit of filler material but nothing too bad.
Obviously more expert fans of the game might find a few things to quibble about but everything seems fairly accurate and well explained.
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VINE VOICEon 31 August 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
You know you are old when you you start remembering wistfully Ken Barrington's famous double century following which he was rewarded by being dropped for the next match! Did we really want to win in those days??

In any event, much in line with my expectations, there is no mention in this book of many of the greats of the game and this was somewhat disappointing.

For the younger readers however there is a brief skating over the history of cricket, a potted and limited list of players in comparatively recent times and, somewhat surprisingly, a section on techniques for the newer players.

Wisden this is not, but for all my harrumphing I enjoyed the book very much. I found it to be an easy read and it was almost 'unputdownable'

A great present for any person with more than a passing interest and an opportunity for those like me to grumble about what is not in in the book rather than what there is.

Buy it.
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VINE VOICEon 12 August 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I got this book as a present for a friend who did not have a clue about cricket.

I was very impressed with the book itself, and how it explains the key laws (but not all of them!!) the key objectives of a game, (runs /boundries, wickets, number of players) the diferent formats of the game (test, one day, T20) and the guide to the role of the umpires and scorers.

The book also provided a guide to the different fielding positions and bowling styles (and how to bowl them!) as well as a guide on the English & Welsh counties, the 1st class interational teams,and a whole chapter on "legends of the game" - where they explain why they are considered "legends"!

Sufice to say that during this recent Ashes series, my friend now understands the game a lot better when we watch it, and is even starting to explain to me the differnt positions of the fielders, and the differnt bowling types!

I would say that this is proof that this book can explain cricket to total novices, and even get them interested in thr game, its very well presented with clear language and appropriate diagrams and all in all its a great book.
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VINE VOICEon 1 September 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you want to understand cricket in all its guises, start here. Its got everything you need to begin to understand and indeed begin to play the game, including buying kit. Tactics, the English county game, test matches, international tournaments, most memorable feats, matches, cricketers, its all here. As someone who has watched the game on and off over a period of 50 years, without understanding it fully, this filled in a lot of gaps.

Its not encyclopaedic, but its a great place to start- at over three hundred pages, it will answer a lot of questions, and raise a few more. Written by a cricketer, who has been a youth coach and club player, I found the text authoritative, well written and providing a book you can dip into, rather than read from cover to cover, though you could do that as well. It filled in all my gaps, so five stars
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on 1 October 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'll readily admit to being a complete novice at cricket - and completely dumbfounded by the progress of the matches I occasionally watch; however, after reading this book I can at least follow what's going on and even make sense of some of the umpires arm-waving. The book covers the rules of the game (or some of them at least) very well, including a list of the obscure cricketing terms. There is plenty information about the various roles of the game: batting, bowling and fielding as well as some more serious stuff like umpiring and captaining a team, but a particular favourite of mine is the chapter on "Becoming a cricket fan which includes an section on making sense of score cards.
Pretty good for beginners like me.
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