RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
The 100 Greatest Cricketers
The 100 Greatest Cricketers - Revised and Updated edition
by Geoff Armstrong Foreword by Steve Waugh

Publisher: New Holland Publishers Pty. Ltd.
The Chandlery Unit 704 50 West Minster Bridge Road,
London SE1 7QY United Kingdom

Web: www.newhollandpublishers.com

Publicity Co-ordinator: Christine King, Email id: cking@nhpub.co.uk

ISBN: 9781742577906
Pages: 328
Price: Sterling Pounds 19.99/-

Geoff Armstrong has worked as writer, editor or publisher on upwards of 100 books on sport, more than 40 of them on cricket alone. Between 1993 and 2014, he collaborated with Steve Waugh on each of Steve's 14 best-selling books, including his autobiography Out of My Comfort Zone.

Geoff Armstrong's The 100 Greatest Cricketers - Revised and Updated - a massive source of reference, worth its weight in gold, is one of the best books in the recent times. A product of many years of research and great dedication, the book to be savoured, is beautifully put together.

Released in 2015, this is a monumental book, lavishly and beautifully produced and illustrated. The book will give an enormous pleasure to cricket enthusiasts and generate endless debate with regard to who would you leave out to put your favourite player in? Were the old cricketers really so good? Have the modern champions superseded them?

The list of publications consulted shows how comprehensive and thorough the research has been, the result being a fascinating combination of description and statistical highlights.

In The 100 Greatest Cricketers, Geoff Armstrong has compared eras, analysed career records, sifted through fact and fiction - and enjoyed much discussion and debate with colleagues and friends - to come up with a list of the best players of all time, ranked from one to 100. He has done so by selecting nine teams, and then nominated his favourite all-time player as the '100th man'. Each team includes two openers, three middle-order batsmen, an all-rounder, a wicketkeeper and four bowlers, at least one of whom is a spinner.

Steve Waugh, in his excellent Foreword says: If ever there was a book that required a cricket tragic to pen it, this is it. How could anyone possibly digest reams of statistics, analyse the technical and mental aspects of each player, compare cricketers from varying eras, and make sense of match and media reports to finally arrive at the top 100 players of all time, and then assemble them into nine teams?

Luckily, such a creature exists. I've been fortunate to have worked closely with this man on all of my books. Geoff Armstrong is a walking cricket encyclopedia capable of churning out views, opinions and 'gee whiz' information on just about every cricketer ever to lace on a boot, and back that material up with figures that few others would know about."

Sachin Tendulkar is the only Indian player to be selected by Armstrong in the First XI, the full team being Don Bradman, W.G.Grace, Garry Sobers, Shane Warne, Imran Khan, Jack Hobbs, Malcolm Marshall, Sachin Tendulkar, Sydney Barnes, Adam Gilchrist and Graeme Pollock.

Profiling Garry Sobers, Armstrong says: Those who like to argue that Garry Sobers is the game's No.1 player do so on the basis that the greatest cricketer must be an allrounder, someone great in all facets of the game. Maybe this is impossible, for in reality, no one has yet achieved this, though Sobers has gone closest. He was a cricketer good enough to average over 57 with the bat, win Test matches whether bowling left-arm fast-medium, finger spin or wrist spin, and a fieldsman of the absolute highest quality in any position.

If Bradman's supreme quality was that he was all but guaranteed to score more runs than anyone else, and W.G.Grace's greatest achievement was that he made the game, Sobers' unique appeal was that he was going to have an influence on any game he was involved in at some stage, in some way."

Writing about Sachin Tendulkar, Armstrong says: "As good as batsmen such as Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting, Rahul Dravid, Hashim Amla and Aravinda de Silva have been in the 21st century, they never came close to the dazzling heights reached by the Little Maestro."

Armstrong has paid a rich tribute to Virender Sehwag: "He is 21st century cricket's rough diamond, with an exuberant batting style all his own, and though captains and coaches must think they're about to work him out, he just keeps going, fast and furious. His ability to wait for the ball, often beside its line rather than in behind it before it races away four backward of point, reflects his amazing eye. He is diminutive like Tendulkar, and is similarly strong off the back foot, especially through the offside, but while he has never appeared as naturally gifted as his hero, Sehwag has more than matched him for sheer audacity."

Well produced, The 100 Greatest Cricketers continues to give consistently good value and will serve as a major work of reference for many years to come, and is deserving of a warm welcome.