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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 10 June 2009
This is an outstanding book, perhaps his best yet - a bit like his bowling ; pacy, incisive, slightly unpredictable and mostly pretty accurate. It's also funny ( a characteristic which Viv Richards might say his bowling also shared). Any cricket-lover is bound to enjoy it - make a good birthday or Christmas present !
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on 13 July 2009
I used to be a TV cricket widow until 2005 - I loved every word of this book - the history bits - the funny bits and finished it just in time for the Ashes so I am now giving bits of info to my cricket mad other half - what a way to spend retirement - watching cricket on TV and reading cricket books - but this was certainly the best. His sense of humour is a delight.
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on 8 July 2009
What a gem of a book.For any cricket lovers, a good cricket book is a must- & this one is one of the best that i`ve ever read. Superbly written, very funny in parts, (more than once i was told off by work collegues for laughing out loud,non cricket lovers-heathens!)Was`nt a bad bowler in his day, but a helluva writer,so if you looking for a good, funny read, do yourself a favour & buy this book, you wont be dissapointed
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VINE VOICEon 10 August 2009
Personally I don't, think you can give even a potted history of English cricket in around 300 pages but Simon Hughes has had a jolly good go with And God Created Cricket. As the bye line says it's an irreverent history but still it's can awful lot to cram in awful lot of awful cricket in fact.
And if we accept that God did create cricket ( Richard Dawkins won't like it but there you go ) what would he make of his/her ( lets not gender assume here ) creation ? Well Hughes is optimistic about the game itself so we can assume that our deity would share that optimism about the game that has lasted over 400 years and is "incredibly resilient " and will last for some considerable time ...or at least until global warming lays waste to every cricket pitch . But English cricket ....well that's something different entirely . As I write England are sliding to an ignominious defeat in the 4th Ashes test at Headingley and its hard to disagree with Simon Hughes who concludes that the exclusive deal with Sky brokered by those complete chumps at the E.C.B. is "In danger of administering the last rites to the English game ". God created cricket then he created Rupert Murdoch ( or maybe that was the devil ?) to kill it off in the country that brought it to the world.
Hughes is pretty scathing ( though not enough in my opinion ) about the governing body of English cricket in this country and indeed about the I.C.C. and quite right too .The E.C. B . are in a league of their own , (indeed it should stand for extremely crappy bureaucrats ) for ineptitude but the I.C.C ( incompetent crappy bureaucrats ?) run them close. As Hughes constantly points out you cannot run the English cricket team autonomously and effectively if you have 18 other vested interests ( the counties ) working against all that is best for the team. As long as this system prevails , and it seems it always will , English cricket will operate with one hand tied behind it's back and it's pads on backwards.
Anyway putting that aside i may have given the impression that this book is all serious furrowed brow stuff but it's actually , like Hughes other books , funny and entertaining . The first couple of chapters regarding the early inception of the game are a bit tedious but once we get to Dr W.G Grace who "Had no more idea about bronchitis than Dr Who " it gets way more interesting and enjoyable. There are some great stats about players like Sydney Barnes , Frank Tyson, Denis Compton, Jack Hobbs , Wally Hammond and some priceless anecdotes about others Like Fred Trueman( "I'd ave been quicker in colour ") ,Ian Botham Geoff Boycott , Shane Warne, Graham Gooch and Mike Atherton . My own favourites involve the toss up for a test match at Headingley( we got hammered you may hear with no surprise what so ever ) between Viv Richards and Chris Cowdrey and Jimmy Ormond's magnificent riposte to some flint eyed sledging from Steve Waugh .
I don't, think And God Created Cricket is quite up to the standard of Simon Hughes other books . There is lot of information to impart but it's done in a jaunty easy style and once it deal with the games great charcters is hugely pleasurable to read. Comparisons could be made with Kevin Pietersen in fact .Bit scratchy and awkward at first but then once it's eye is in it flows and is just a joy to behold. The self effacing and genial Hughes is never likely to be nicknamed like the egotistical batsman "Fig jam " ( **** I'm good , Just ask me ) though . Hughes is good however , as this latest book testify's more than adequately .
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VINE VOICEon 23 September 2014
This is a entertaining and informative history of Cricket, which is packed full of facts and anecdotes. However, the humour is occasionally a little too forced and puerile. However, Hughes gets most of that out of his system as the book progresses and there is much to ponder in his condemnation of the backward-looking setup of the game in Britain.

Simon Hughes is a very readable author, just as in his autobiography 'A Lot of hard Yakka' and I'd recommend 'And God created Cricket' to anyone who wants to find out about the personalities, history and development of the game.
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on 12 March 2014
A good book for the first few chapters, then gets a bit tedious as Hughes races through descriptions of famous players. But if you really want to know about the history of cricket then the Birley, 'Social History of English Cricket' is the one to get. I just bought the Hughes one for something to read while in hospital.
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I eventually enjoyed this book very much. I have a lot of respect for Simon Hughes's knowledge of the game and have enjoyed his previous books. He can write very well, and when he does he is interesting, insightful and amusing - as he is pretty consistently in the latter two thirds of this book

The problem came for me in the first hundred or so pages which are liberally sprinkled (in fact I would say seriously infested) with silliness which isn't nearly as funny as it thinks it is. Here's a random sample of an interesting little nugget, ruined for me by the subsequent "joke" complete with exclamation mark: "C. B. Fry also developed a fascination with the Nazis and once spent an hour chatting to Hitler, trying, and failing, to persuade him to form a cricket team. He spent so long explaining the lbw law it drove Germany into invading Poland. The Second World War was all C. B. Fry's fault!" There's a limit to how much of this I can take, but there was enough good stuff to keep me going - shortly after this, for example, there are several really fine, insightful and flippancy-free paragraphs on Frank Woolley, his possible similarity to David Gower and what it was like bowling to Gower.

Fortunately, the tom-foolery peters out as Hughes begins to talk about things he really knows and cares about (from about the 1920s onward) and the final 200 pages or so are full of insight, analysis and really interesting and amusing anecdotes. His accounts of the Bodyline and D'Oliviera affairs are simply excellent, for example, and he draws brilliant portraits of some of the greats of the game.

Overall, a very good book and well worth reading for anyone interested in cricket - just be prepared to negotiate a wayward opening spell.
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on 2 February 2013
Not being a great fan of cricket myself, this book was bought as a present for a cricket barmy friend of ours. What he does not know about the game could be writ large on the back of a postage stamp! To our pleasant surprise he said that he had not read the book before and having read it volunteered that he enjoyed it very much indeed. Job done!
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on 27 August 2009
There are a lot of fine, and some very funny, books about cricket. If you only buy one, this must be it. Funny, perceptive, and hugely informative.
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on 4 July 2013
. . . Which is to be expected, obviously, however the pessimism which pervades hangs like a low cloud over Edgbaston; threatening a washout and only occasionally letting the sun peep through.

An enjoyable, if fairly light read, it's a shame that Simon Hughes analysis is, in my opinion, a little 'off the mark' on this occasion. The fortunes of all cricketing nations have fluctuated over time however, while allowing and accepting this for other nation's, Hughes sees English cricket in perpetual decline (blaming the counties system) and ignores the fact we've actually done pretty well in recent years.

Worth a read but the book is more akin to watching a mid week county match than the IPL.
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