An eye-opening survey of cricket, from the crowd violence and blatant match-rigging of the eighteenth century, down to the twentieth century's glaring abuses of the spirit of the game.
Written in the same lively style that won such praise for his W.G. Grace: A Life, Simon Rae's history of cheating will appeal to the cricket fan and general reader alike. Ranging from Thomas White, who notoriously arrived at the crease with a bat the size of the wicket, on through the Bodyline controversy and throwing, sledging, umpire baiting, and the recent disgrace of Hansie Cronje, It's Not Cricket makes us ask whether cricket really ever was the yardstick of all that is true, honest, pure and of good repute.
Simon Rae's award-winning W. G. Grace: A Life received widespread acclaim on its publication in 1998. He has also edited a number of anthologies, and for five years presented BBC Radio 4's 'Poetry Please!'. For nearly ten years he wrote regular topical poems for the Guardian and published two collections of them, Soft Targets and Rapid Response. He collaborated with Ronald Searle on a book of cartoons and poems, The Face of War, and in 1999 he won the National Poetry Prize. His first stage play, A Quiet Night In, was produced in Bristol and London the same year. In 1999/2000 he was poet in residence with Warwickshire County Cricket Club and MAC at Edgbaston, and he was Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Warwick University for 2000/2001.