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A detailed and invaluable pocket guide - ideal for any cricket fan,
This review is from: Playfair Cricket Annual 2010 (Paperback)
The "Playfair Cricket Annual" has an excellent reputation as the essential pocket guide for any follower of the game. Now in its 63rd edition, it contains everything a cricket enthusiast should need to know, with a wealth of statistics on all the players and teams playing in England in 2010, on both the county and international levels.
The 2010 edition is the first to be compiled by Ian Marshall, following the death of long-time editor Bill Frindall last year. It has been brought fully up-to-date for the new season, with a new preface by former England captain Mike Atherton. Other informative articles include a brief analysis of the Duckworth-Lewis scoring system, used for resetting targets in rain-affected one-day matches, and an explanation of Kolpak registrations for overseas players in the English domestic competition. There is also a fielding chart illustrating the names of all the most common positions - perfect for new fans of the game.
The real role of this book is as a statistical reference, however, and in this respect it does not disappoint. The structure of "Playfair" has been revised and rationalised for 2010, making it even more accessible than before. There are now separate sections for each different form of the game: Test matches, county cricket, limited-overs and Twenty20 internationals, as well as (for the very first time) the Indian Premier League and the World Twenty20 competition. Each section includes career bowling and batting averages, as well as both individual and team records, making this a comprehensive ready reference.
The county cricket section - which takes up the bulk of the book - includes a register of all players currently contracted to the 18 English county teams, providing vital statistics for every one: height, career history, batting and bowling styles, highest scores and best bowling performances in both first-class and limited overs cricket. Full scorecards are given for every Test Match that took place in 2009, as well as for last season's English domestic tournament finals, and at the back is a complete list of all domestic and international fixtures for the 2010 summer.
All in all, the "Playfair Cricket Annual" is an affordable and invaluable guide. The information given is presented very densely, and the book's clear structure makes it easy to locate whichever statistics are required. The small type may be a problem for those who are harder of sight, but at a little over 330 pages it is relatively compact and lightweight, and its pocket-sized format means that this is an excellent companion for taking to matches.