Bob Woolmer's Art and Science of Cricket

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It is doubtless a coincidence that this labour of love, 10 years in the writing, was published just before England commenced their renaissance with Kevin Pietersen at the helm, but undoubtedly players and captains at all levels can learn from it.

Woolmer, who had practically completed the book before his sad death during the 2007 World Cup, intended it to be far more than a mere coaching manual, though that section benefits from his considerable experience and innovatory thinking. His aim was to cover all aspects of the game, including selection, strategy, psych-ology, fitness and physiology, and with the help of two academics, Dr Helen Moffett and Professor Tim Noakes, a sports scientist, he succeeded triumphantly.

Everything from the mysteries of swing to sledging and spinal injuries is analysed in this hefty tome (656 pages), with a price to match, but for players and fans alike it is value for money. Just try to keep it out of the hands of the opposition.

Published by New Holland in large-format hardback, £30