RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
SUNDIAL IN THE SHADE - The story of Barry Richards: The Genuis lost to Test Cricket
SUNDIAL IN THE SHADE - The story of Barry Richards: The Genuis lost to Test Cricket by Andrew Murtagh

Published by Pitch Publishing Ltd.
A2 Yeoman Gate, Yeoman Way, Worthing, Sussex BN13 3QZ

Web: pitchpublishing.co.uk

Paperback 416 Pages
RRP: Sterling Pounds 8.99
ISBN 978 178531 1420

First published in 2015 and reprinted in paperback in 2016, Sundial in the Shade is a fascinating personal account of long overdue life of a great South African cricketer, Barry Richards, a batsman considered as a genius lost to Test cricket.

Barry Richards is considered as one of the greatest batsmen of the twentieth century. As a former county player, Andrew Murtagh is often asked who is the best batsman he has ever played with or against. His answer is always unequivocal - "Richards" And then comes the inevitable rider - "Barry, that is, not Viv."

This superb book follows the story of what happened to a cricketer with promise of a glittering international career, was denied the world stage and instead consigned to represent for Hampshire, Natal and South Australia.

Barry Richards became increasingly frustrated and disenchanted with the game he had loved. Following retirement, personal tragedy and professional controversy continued to stalk him, though he has now come to an uneasy truce with his sense of unfulfilment, and an acceptance that he will be forever known as the genius lost to Test cricket.

In his foreword, Tim Rice has paid a rich tribute to him: South Africa's Barry Richards is simply one of the greatest batsmen cricket has ever seen, whose talents have at times been bracketed with those of Sir Donald Bradman, Sachin Tendulkar and his namesake Vivian. The comparison would have been made more often but for the well-known tragedy of his career: it coincided almost exactly with his country's period of isolation from the cricket world, 1970-1991, as a result of apartheid. This meant that he only played four Test matches, all against Australia. all of which were won by South Africa, and his contribution of 508 runs at an average of over 72 was a major factor in this triumph.

Barry was just 25 and his international career commenced and finished at the same time.

After that magnificent success, the door slammed shut on South Africa's international cricket and by the time it was prised open again, Barry had retired. He played first-class cricket until 1983, notably for Hampshire and South Australia, and nearly ever time he went to the wicket, his admirers could not but wonder what might have been."

Andrew Murtagh's first book, A Remarkable Man: The Story of George Chesterton, was short-listed for the MCC Cricket Society Book of the Year - for which award Touched by Greatness, his biography of Tom Graveney, is now long-listed. All-rounder Andrew played for Hampshire in the 1970s, and subsequently became an Englilsh teacher at Malvern College.

The book is an excellent read and his former team mate at Hampshire, Andrew Murtagh, has done a superb job.

Bob Murrell, Official Hampshire CCC Statistician, has meticulously compiled Barry Richards' career statistics. The photographs used in the book are marvellous.