Records are an integral part of every sport. It is those unforgettable moments that remain in the memory of fans for years when an athlete rose to the challenge and marked his authority against the best.
In cricket, even though it is a team sport, records have another meaning as there are so many factors involved in reaching the top.
Chris Waters The men who raised the bar highlighted the names of the players who took the game to another level. In every mission, some fail and others succeed, but this book is about those who have prospered like never before.
It covers everything from the match situation to the players’ mental and physical strength in detail to give readers something to visualize.
If you weren’t sure why the world’s first Australian centurion Charles Bannerman retired after marking a century in his early days, or what propelled West Indian legend Brian Lara to his 400 paces, get your hands on this book because it has all the answers.
Readers also learn that the bar, which people often refer to as the point of excellence, was set by Bannerman.
It also reveals that at the time the first century Test was written down, the longest format didn’t even exist. It wasn’t until later that Bannerman was credited with the first century of testing and the highest test score.
He was followed by many, including two English ‘Tip’ Foster and Andy Sandham before they were dethroned by Sir Don Bradman.
Interestingly, there is a name that appears twice in the book – Brian Charles Lara – who lost the record and played long enough to get it back, like a true champion.
Don’t be surprised to learn that Bannerman has represented Australia in just three test matches and has been unable to continue his good form due to an injury sustained in the record heats; or that Billy Murdoch managed to represent both Australia and England; or that Sir Garry Sobers was not even considered a threat when he became the record holder.
This book is a portrait of all those hitters who went beyond the expectations of their fans, teammates and opponents to make their name in the history books.
It also traces the growth of the test record which has been the target of the best in the world. The book takes readers back in time to a time when cricket was not a professional sport but rather a hobby.
It deals with the evolution of the game in a new way, through the performance of the hitters who have scored the most runs in an inning. Not only that, it also explains if they have lived up to the expectations which have increased with the increase in the number of matches.
If you want to learn more about the rivalry between Wally Hammond and Don Bradman, or the friendship of Billy Murdoch and Dr WG Grace, this book is for you.
It covers all record breaking cricketers. Some of them even have their color photographs of this match printed in their chapters. People born in the black and white era are also mentioned, but their photographs are less numerous.
However, to make up for the lack of imagery, their feat is more or as much covered in these pages to show the kind of resilience they had back in the days when they had little role to play.
Each record is accompanied by the scoreboard of that match, which is nothing less than a memory for a cricket fan. The same can be said of comments made after this round by the record holder, commentators, cricketers or historians who have spoken about it later. From Sir Neville Cardus to John Woodcock, everyone is mentioned in these pages, and trust me, their lyrics are nothing less than a guide for fans of the game.
All in all, this book is something every cricket enthusiast should have in their collection. The tale feels more like a fairy tale than a third-person narration of a cricket match and is filled with anecdotes that are hard to find online. Reading legends like Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Len Hutton and Wally Hammond etc. will strengthen your knowledge of cricket while their stories will make a wonderful read. This book builds on their thoughts and raises the bar itself, as no chapter seems unwanted and unwarranted.