The 12 best cricket books of 2023

We’ve read and reviewed all of this year’s best cricket books – from biographies and cricket history books, to more light-hearted tomes – and here we’re picking out the best dozen


Cricket lovers really are spoil for choice when trying to pick out cricket books to read. Surely no other sport boasts the quality of the written word that cricket can muster?

It's perhaps a consequence of those long, hazy summer days of yore that attracts the finest minds to produce cricket books at a rate quicker than Jonny Bairstow accumulates runs. So whether you're buying for your own entertainment or on the hunt for a perfect cricket gift, you'll find the pick of this year's best cricket books right here.

We've read and reviewed all of this year's best cricket books – from biographies and cricket history books, to more light-hearted tomes – and here we’re picking out the dozen best.

Please note that when you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission


1. Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2023 (Edited by Lawrence Booth)

£57 (Bloomsbury, 1,568pp)

The definitive retrospective of the 2022 cricket season is back to its best – all 1,568 pages of it. As well as the usual serving of scorecards and statistics, this year's edition covers topics as diverse as the inevitable encroachment of the IPL, warnings against private investment, tributes to Shane Warne, games attended by Elizabeth II, cricket in Ukraine, Jane Austen, and colostomy bags.

What The Cricketer said: "These days, we are more likely to find consolation, not influence, in Wisden, and again that joy exists in abundance." – 5 stars

Click here to buy Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2023 from Amazon

Click here to buy Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2023 from Waterstones


2. On the Ashes by Gideon Haigh

£17 (Allen & Unwin, 416pp)

One of today's very best cricket writers, Haigh has produced an archive of 80-odd Ashes vignettes that mostly centre around the individuals and characters - from Harry Trott and Ken Farnes all the way through to Allan Border and James Anderson - that have made this storied rivalry as endlessly compelling as it is.

What The Cricketer said: "Beautifully written and tells you things that you probably didn’t know." – 4.5 stars

Click here to buy On the Ashes from Amazon

Click here to buy On the Ashes from Waterstones


3. Warne in Wisden: an anthology (Edited by Richard Whitehead)

£18.99 (John Wisden & Co, 288pp)

Richard Whitehead contributes some of the most engaging obituaries to Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack each year, and he has done a fine job curating this rich and diverse account of the game's greatest leg-spinner - from colourful long-form restrospectives to in-depth dissections of his bowling.

What The Cricketer said: "Richard Whitehead has done a top job pulling together an anthology on the blond bombshell." – 4.5 stars

Click here to buy Warne in Wisden from Amazon

Click here to buy Warne in Wisden from Waterstones


4. Disappearing World: Our Eighteen First-Class Cricket Counties by Scyld Berry

£19.99 (Pitch Publishing, 286pp)

A joyous eulogy rather than a frustrated epitaph, over 18 colourful and erudite essays the doyen of living cricket writers shows his soft spot for each of the first-class counties. 

What The Cricketer said: "Scyld Berry is the best critical friend the game has known." – 4 stars

Click here to buy Disappearing World from Amazon

Click here to buy Disappearing World from Waterstones


5. The Tour: The Story of the England Cricket Team Overseas 1877-2022 by Simon Wilde

£20 (Simon & Schuster, 592pp)

This lengthy but hugely readable tome from one of today’s most popular cricket writers entertaining and informative account of 146 years of overseas assignments by England men’s teams. From captains selected for their speech-making abilities, players missing out die to misdemeanours, through to those who suffered acute homesickness, it charts the extraordinary evolution of the touring experience.

What The Cricketer said: "Superbly researched mix of analysis and anecdote; not presented chronologically as many writers might have done, but thematically, with fact-filled boxes concluding each chapter." – 4 stars

Click here to buy The Tour from Amazon

Click here to buy The Tour from Waterstones


6. White Hot: The Inside Story of England Cricket’s Double World Champions by Tim Wigmore & Matt Roller

£22 (Bloomsbury Publishing, 268pp)

White Hot begins with a brilliant first line: "In English men’s sport, winning normally means you’re about to lose." But this time, England didn’t flop and are the first team to hold both World Cup trophies simultaneously. This book charts England’s rise to twin summits from the nadir of the 2015 World Cup, using a fantastic array of interviews and statistics.

What The Cricketer said: "An impressive number of more than 40 interviewees supply fresh voices that are threaded through the pages, producing a readable, coherent and very informative whole." – 4 stars

Click here to buy White Hot from Amazon

Click here to buy White Hot from Waterstones


7. How to be a Cricket Fan: A Life in 50 Artefacts from WG to Wisden by Matthew Appleby

£18.99 (Pitch Publishing, 318pp)

Matthew Appleby describes how the game can become a near-obsession in this funny and sentimental chronicle, but there is far more to this affectionate book than a must-have list of memorabilia.

What The Cricketer said: "The love of a son courses through a uniquely-framed biography." – 4 stars

Click here to buy How to be a Cricket Fan from Amazon

Click here to buy How to be a Cricket Fan from Waterstones


8. The Bodyline Fix: How Women Saved Cricket by Marion Stell

£19.99 (University of Queensland Press, 204pp)

England’s first women's Ashes tour went much deeper than cricket, and The Bodyline Fix fills the gap fills in a massive gap in most cricket fans' knowledge by honing in on the earliest international tours and social mores of the time.

What The Cricketer said: "Stell is a natural storyteller, interweaving players' memories with a trawl through the archives and historical nuggets." – 4 stars

Click here to buy The Bodyline Fix from Amazon


9. Swallows and Hawke: England's Cricket Tourists, the MCC and the Making of South Africa 1888–1968 by Richard Parry and Andre Odendaal

£22.99 (Pitch Publishing, 448pp)

In this passionate account of England’s early tours to South Africa, celebrates the achievements of the host nation on the field, but never loses sight of off-field affairs. The political and social background is always there to remind us cricket is not just a game.

What The Cricketer said: "The book rightfully places itself in the tradition of Mike Marqusee, Ramachandra Guha and Derek Birley. Packed with detail." – 4 stars

Click here to buy Swallows and Hawke from Amazon

Click here to buy Swallows and Hawke from Waterstones


10.  Turning Over the Pebbles: A Life in Cricket and the Mind by Mike Brearley

£22 (Constable, 304pp)

England’s most cerebral captain is in typically thought-provoking mood in his latest book, but there's more than cricket in these pages; rather it's a tome that is constantly seeking the best passage between art and science, body and mind, sport and study, reason and emotion, vagueness and precision, creativity and analysis, thinking and doing, cricket and philosophy, cricket and psychoanalysis, abstract and concrete, literalness and metaphor.

What The Cricketer said: "He has written a wonderfully challenging book. It may not be the book we want; but it might just be the book we need." – 4 stars

Click here to buy Turning Over the Pebbles from Amazon

Click here to buy Turning Over the Pebbles from Waterstones


11. Sultan: A Memoir by Wasim Akram (with Gideon Haigh)

£18.99 (Hardie Grant, 304pp)

Wasim Akram has delighted millions down the years and the Pakistan legend certainly has an extraordinary story to tell, but a surprising sense of melancholy feels as prevalent as joy in this autobiography in which he notes that "My generation are closer to the end than the beginning" and dwells on the premature deaths of contemporaries Dean Jones, Shane Warne and Andrew Symonds. 

What The Cricketer said: "Tightly and unselfishly ghost-written by Gideon Haigh." – 3.5 stars

Click here to buy Sultan from Amazon

Click here to buy Sultan from Waterstones


12. An Island's Eleven by Nicholas Brookes

£25 (The History Press, 512pp)

The best cricket book of last year completes our chart. An Island's Eleven: The Story of Sri Lankan Cricket is the definitive account of the island nation's rise to prominence in the sport; from its roots in British colonialism, inevitably through to their incredible World Cup final win in 1996. One of our very favourites from last year and winner of the Cricket Society & MCC Book of the Year Award 2023.

What The Cricketer said: "A sizeable hole has been filled in cricket literature with the publication of this exceptional history of Sri Lankan cricket. Authoritative, painstakingly researched and abounding with wonderful anecdotes and first-hand accounts, it brings to life one of cricket’s most colourful stories." – 5 stars

Click here to buy An Island's Eleven from Amazon

Click here to buy An Island's Eleven from Waterstones


THE CRICKETER NEWSLETTER Get all the latest cricket news to your inbox, twice a week SIGN UP

Thank You! Thank you for subscribing!





Units 7-8, 35-37 High St, Barrow upon Soar, Loughborough, LE128PY

Welcome to - the online home of the world’s oldest cricket magazine. Breaking news, interviews, opinion and cricket goodness from every corner of our beautiful sport, from village green to national arena.