r.c. robertson glasgow’s 46 not out, his autobiographical memoirs is a charmingly written book, filled with daft humour and wonderful turns of phrase. it is scholarly but never boring and its celebration of some of the “lesser ” people is in keeping with the promise made in the opening chapter(where the author expounds delightfully and somewhat cynically,of why the bearded granddad in his street is better than the great playwright Bernard Shaw-a payback for Bernard Shaw’s acidic comments about cricket). it is a delightful ramble through oxford and somerset , it also offers deep insights into the university life at oxford, but many of his references(with Greek and Latin phrases) to the classics completely beat me as i am as ignorant in that area as the author is of mathematics(the book has a beautiful (short) humorous description of why even Einstein needed an assistant for math)……i am reminded of sujit mukherjee’s autobiography……the similarities are too evident to not notice……..the gentle, genteel style of writing, the humour used amply, the scholarship(both of them literary scholars of some merit) their love of the games, their successes and the lack of it, the cheerful portrayal of others’ brilliance on the field, their eye for the queer and the idiosyncratic, their synthesis of brilliant cricket, their memory of most fine things and fine people, their vivid descriptions of cricket matches at various places and of varying quality. their genteel calm outlook about life and need it be said, about cricket, their scholarship gently peeping from behind, never degrading into pompousness, especially their never resorting to sociological or other consequences of cricket but sticking to its pristine and direct impact of the game. a wonderful and pleasurable read.
also check out his essay The Joy of Cricket which is a delightful read on the pleasures of bowling.