The 22 Yard stretch, the stretch which is a runway for dreams and aspirations. The stretch where one’s heart, soul, sweat, determination and dedication lies and the one that blends stories which inspire each and every person. It sees no gender, but true commitment. No religion but sportsmanship as its most crucial essence. Dreams are boundless and cricket keeps it that way. A few decades ago, the stereotypes were broken when a new era began. The era of women’s cricket.
For people who not only love to play the game or watch the game but also read the game, for the critics, the spectators, the fans. The ultimate worshippers of this very game, which is no less than a religion in itself. Here are the Top 5 reads for the enhancement of the cricketing brain, to know more about one’s favorite players and to understand cricket starting from its roots. Above all, to understand and witness the beginning of Women’s Cricket, the struggle, the growth, the stardom.
1. SKIRTING THE BOUNDARY: A HISTORY OF WOMEN’S CRICKET
It is time to travel back into time as Isabelle Duncan takes you back to the eighteenth century to witness the beginning of this extremely challenging yet so beautiful era of women’s cricket. Amid the frantic betting and rowdy crowds as Isabelle describes it, women walked their way to the 22 yards, for the very first time. Long listed for the cricket society and The M.C.C Book of the Year Award 2014, Skirting the Boundary is the journey of women, their highs and lows, and their fight for acceptance by breaking the stereotypes of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to leave their footprints on the sport for ever. It is the quest of turning their passion into a profession no one could have thought of. It is the affectionate, humorous and charming portrayal of the fast growing sport.
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2. RISING SPELL IN WOMEN’S CRICKET
By Mukta Singla & Dr Roopali Slathia
Written by former Punjab cricketer Mukta Singla and Co-Authored by Dr Roopali Slathia, a level two coach with the Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI), the book reflects the journey of some leading Indian women cricketers who have won laurels and have excelled at the highest format of the game. Been written by a cricketer herself, it also connects the cricket lovers with the game better. As the title reads, Rising spell in women’s cricket, it highlights the achievements and the journey of the top in their field and on the field. The rise from rags to riches and from struggle to stardom. This highly acknowledged and appreciated book by many renowned critics and players of the sport makes it a must read.
Also Read : Interview with Ar. Mukta – A Cricketer turned Author for Rising Spell in Women’s Cricket
3. WICKET WOMEN: CRICKET AND WOMEN IN AUSTRALIA
By Richard. I .Cashman & Amanda Weaver
This comprehensive book is all about the Australian women cricketers, the prejudices they faced throughout their journey and the very charming yet crucial and inspiring history of women cricketers and Australian cricket. Supported by statistics, this book not only is based on enthralling history but also provides the analysts with numbers. This makes it one of these top reads.
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4. THE TALIBAN CRICKET CLUB
By Timeri. N . Murari
Cricket is not just a sport, but includes everything that one wants. Be it fitness, entertainment or drama. It not just weaves careers but dreams. This Fictional novel written by Timeri. N. Murari, revolves around Rukhsana, an Afghanistan based young journalist. Carrying the responsibilities of her ill, widowed mother and her younger brother. The Family’s world is shattered when the ministry comes into play to announce a cricket tournament in a place where no one knows how to play, no one except Rukhsana. But confined by discrimination and prejudices and also trapped by the intentions of the minister, Zorak Wahidi , she trains her male cousins to play and win themselves a better life, out of the country. The price to be paid for this freedom can be really expensive. It is a story of courage, fight for freedom and a battle to be won with a bat and a ball. This exciting and thrilling adventure is certainly not to be missed.
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5. WOMEN’S CRICKET AND GLOBAL PROCESSES
By Philippa Velija
Emergence. Empowerment. Effectiveness. Three words that influence the commencement of something new and something iconic. Women’s cricket was one of those powerful and iconic beginnings and an important phase in growth and empowerment. This book talks about the processes through which this phase was put to make it something known as an era. The various ideologies, changes, improvements and most importantly judgments that have made women’s cricket to emerge with such a pace. We have read a lot about the struggles, the growth of this phase in the sport, but Velija here comes up with the various processes and reasons behind this very global growth. This one’s for the true analysts and critics.
Women’s cricket is something that is absolutely one of its kind and something that has given the sport an altogether new chapter, a new thinking and a new change towards empowerment, growth and revolution. This change has been weaved in words by some fabulous writers, players of the sport and have been acknowledged by the best in the game. All these Top 5 books are worth the reader’s attention.
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The 22 Yard stretch that molded me, is what I hold sacred. A cricketer weaving life’s innings into words. A Rohit Sharma Admirer always. I believe writing and cricket aren’t passions, but ways of life, so truly living the dream!