By Jayesh Patel
My recently completed book ‘Flannels on the Sward, History of Cricket in Americas’ is now available on Amazon. American Cricket history has been covered in only 3 books and this by far has the most detailed coverage with 135 pictures (some never before seen) and material that has never been published before, like the scores and details of the Philadelphia team who were the first foreign team to visit the Caribbean’s in 1887-88.
This is my maiden effort at writing and it has taken me 3 years of non-stop research/writing to put this visually delightful and unsung American Cricket History together. The first chapter will interest the readers as it contains information on a game called ‘Wicket’ which may be the forerunner to modern Cricket and Connecticut has the unique distinction of being home to that game for more than 300 years with Bristol and New Britain having the best team in the state during the 1850s!
The book is about the remarkable but untold American Cricket History which traces the origins of Cricket in America from its’ early days to modern times. One does not normally associate America with Cricket but the reality is that after England, America has the earliest cricketing history & pioneers going as far back as 1650s! The first time an English team left for an overseas tour to play Cricket, was to America/Canada in 1859, even before they visited Australia. Australia and Ireland started visiting Philadelphia which was the cricketing capital in America & they in turn sent teams to play in England. Cricket followed the English, so we find in South America countries like Argentina, Brazil, Chile & Mexico with Cricket history going back to early 1800s. The book also covers Canadian and early West Indian tours to America. I have collected unique pictures from libraries, universities, clubs etc. and reference material from rare and hard to find books.
The local NBC station did a story on it and so did NPR who did a partial coverage on an early game called Wicket and will do another story on the rest of the book.
The book has excellent notes, bibliography & index, I am hopeful that it will find a wide readership and be accepted as an excellent reference book on the glorious American Cricket History. I am certain that you will also agree once you read the book & the full color version which will be out next month will create a bigger impact as this is a visual treat in times past.