LONGLISTED CRICKET SOCIETY & MCC BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017
Prodigy. Record breaker. Enigma.
Jack Crawford, described as the greatest ever schoolboy cricketer, blazed into the Surrey team at the age of seventeen and broke a host of records: the youngest Surrey centurion and double centurion, the youngest player to achieve the double of 100 wickets and 1,000 runs in a season. He became the youngest cricketer to play for England and a Wisden Cricketer of the Year.
Yet, not long after his twenty-first birthday, he played the last of his twelve Test matches. He fell out with the Surrey committee, then with the South Australian Cricket Association and Otago Cricket Association after moving to play in the Southern Hemisphere. What went wrong?
Crawford’s career raises many questions which have only been partially answered. Why did he stand up to the Surrey committee? What happened in Australia and New Zealand? Did he try to dodge the Great War? Was he a bigamist? Now, thanks to Keith and Jennifer Booth’s meticulous research, the truth is fully known.
Keith Booth’s life, like Caesar’s Gaul, can be divided into three roughly equal parts: a quarter of a century in full-time education and management training, a similar amount of time in university administration and finally another twenty-five years in cricket scoring and writing. This is his ninth book, his seventh about a Surrey personality. His biography of Charles Alcock was shortlisted for the Cricket Society Book of the Year award in 2002, that on George Lohmann won it five years later.
Keith’s wife, Jennifer, is an archivist and spent most of her career in the prestigious environment of the Tate Gallery. She now uses that expertise to identify and research sources for Keith’s books and has been so heavily involved in this one that she is named as joint author.
1 May 2016 - ISBN 9780993215254
Paperback - 198 x 129mm - 304 pages