RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
The Cebturions
The Cricket Tragic's - Book of Cricket Extras Volume 1
Marc Dawson

Published by: Big Sky Publishing Pty. Ltd.
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: 205

Price: Aus.$ 19.99

The Cricket Tragic's Book of Cricket Extras - Volume 1 by Mark Dawson is the first book of its kind. Whether it be outstanding or esoteric performances on the field, or bizarre and baffling incidents off the field, fascinating facts on all aspects of the game can be found within these covers.

From round the globe to your local park, The Cricket Tragic's Book of Cricket Extras captures the highs and lows, the ups and downs and the ins and outs of this glorious game we call cricket.

Some of the interesting and rare facts have been mentioned in the book as under:

# When India bowled out Australia for 193 at Mumbai in 2007-08, all ten wickets fell to left-arm bowlers, a first in one-day international cricket. Murali Kartik took a record six for 27, while Rudra Pratap Singh, Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan shared the other four. Sixteen wickets by left-armers in the match also represented a new record, beating the previous mark of eleven.

# On his way to an unbeaten 84 against India at Harare in 2004-05, Andy Blignaut survived a hat-trick of dropped catches of the bowling of Zaheer Khan. During the 31st over of Zimbabwe's second innings, substitute fielder Dhiraj Jadhav, Virender Sehwag and Dinesh Karthik all grassed chances off successive deliveries from the hapless Zaheer.

# In 2007, India became the first country to have their top four batsmen all hit hundreds in a Test innings when Bangladesh copped a hiding in the second Test at Dhaka. After recording a pair in the first Test at Chittagong, Indian opener Wasim Jaffer bounced back with a century in the second. Jaffer and Dinesh Karthik had launched the first Test with opening stands of 0 and 0, but turned things around with a 175-run partnership at Dhaka, before both were forced to retire. Troubled by stifling heat and humidity, Jaffer retired on 138, and Karthik on 82, while Bangladesh's opening bowlers - Mashrafe Mortaza (31.4-4-100-1) and Syed Rasul (23.4-0-109-0) - also succumbed to the oppressive conditions. It was the first occasion in which both opening batsmen and both of the opening bowlers had all retired 'hurt' during the same innings of a Test match.

# One of the balls off the bat of Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene struck a snake during a first-class match at Kurunegala in 1997-98. The one-and-a-half metre long creature had slithered onto the Welegedara Stadium ground during Jayawardene's innings of 110 against England A.

# In the wake of Sachin Tendulkar being awarded India's second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan in 2008, Britain's Prime Minister suggested the batting maestro should be knighted. Gordon Brown said Tendulkar deserved a knighthood for his contribution to the game; "It is a matter for an independent honours committee, but I'm sure the people recognise that just like Sir Don Bradman and others who were awarded honours as honorary knighthood for the work they did for cricket, there is of course a strong case for reward."

# Both India and England employed the same side for each match of the three-Test series in 2007, the first time this had happened in Test history. The England team was Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Michael Vaughan, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood Ian Bell, Matt Prior, Ryan Sidebottom, James Anderson, Monty Panesar and Chris Tremlett, while India's XI in all three Tests comprised Anil Kumble, Dinesh Karthik, Wasim Jaffer, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, V.V.S. Laxman, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Rudra Pratap Singh, Zaheer Khan and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth.

# In the opening match of the 2008-09 one-day international series against Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe collapsed from 124 for four to be all out for 127. The last six batsmen in the line-up fell for a duck - a first in one-day internationals - while Sri Lankan opener Upul Tharanga was run-out in the first over for the seventh consecutive nought of the match.

The author Marc Dawson, an ABC newsreader, is the ultimate 'cricket tragic' and has notched up fourteen books on the subject over the past twenty years. Never short of cricketing curiosities, this is the first volume in his cricket Tragic's series of cracking facts and feats from around the world.

Attractively laid out, well illustrated, logically organised and lucidity written, the book is recommended reading. This is a useful addition to the library of the statistician/historian/commentator.

The Indian publishers interested in publishing this outstanding book in India and the other three volumes may get in touch with Denny Neave at denny@bigskypublishing.com.au