A Last English Summer, By Duncan Hamilton

Canterbury Cathedral is "bleached white, as though it were built from mother of pearl rather than stone", while Scarborough castle "caught in silhouette at twilight, looks as if it belongs in an adventure story for boys from the Fifties."

If Hamilton can write about the setting so evocatively, he does even better with the game he loves: "Brian Close was the cricketing version of Rocky Marciano. He'd absorb five punches for the sake of landing a decent one himself"; at a village fete, Gary Sobers "thumped the ball so ferociously that... it might disintegrate into a heap of cloudy red dust".

Admiring the sentiments of Rattigan's The Final Test Hamilton loves "the pauses, the silences, the gradual unfolding of strategies."