Arm-ball to Zooter: A Sideways Look at the Language of Cricket Hardcover – 5 Oct 2006
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A witty and readable guide to the words that matter...
indispensable for newcomers and veterans alike. -- SPORT magazine
Chatty, amusing (plus Nick Newman's delightful cartoon A to Z)...
A cricketer's dip-in book for the Christmas stocking. -- WISDEN CRICKETER magazine
Cricket's ability to fit the new alongside the old grins happily
out of Lawrence Booth's entertaining writing. -- SUNDAY TIMES -- BOOK OF THE WEEK
I looked up a word and was sucked in. Two hours -- and several
belly laughs -- later I resurfaced.
-- CRICINFO (cricinfo.com)
From the Inside Flap
Few sports, with the possible exception of tae kwon do, have a
vocabulary as rich and apparently grounded in freemasonry as cricket. If
batsmen are not being bamboozled by doosras, they are pulling through
midwicket or reverse-sweeping to third man. Bowlers seem to be forever
peppering their maidens with googlies, or fiddling mischievously with the
seam. Grown men just can't stop shouting funny things at other, slightly
older, grown men. Everyone, everywhere, it seems, is doing something that
is incapable of being expressed in plain English. So what, exactly, IS
Lawrence Booth, author of the Guardian's acclaimed `The Spin', makes the
perfect guide to this often inhospitable terrain. Exploding pomposity,
misty-eyed clichés and old gits' cynicism aplenty along the way, he
explains the history and institutions of the game through its language, and
nothing - from WG Grace and the smack of leather on willow to the (brief)
advent of aluminium bats and Kerry Packer - will ever seem quite the same
What has Albania got to do with anything? Who was George Davis? And what on
earth is a freaker? From bats and balls to the names of the big, the
smaller and the frankly obscure, via the quirks, oddities and irrelevancies
that make up the game - ARM-BALL TO ZOOTER is the definitive look - the
perfect all-rounder - at the weird and wonderful world of a language we
could all do with speaking just a little more fluently.