Readers may be surprised to hear that I have branched out from writing a few rambling cricket and travel articles to write my first book, A History and Guide to the Cricket World Cup.

White Owl, an imprint of Pen & Sword, very kindly agreed to take it on board and I would like to thank the many people there who have helped me but none more so than Jonathan Wright, the White Owl commissioning editor, who so kindly agreed to take on the book. Everyone in their different roles has been exceptional and they have made the process far simpler than I could have imagined and I naturally hope that the book will prove to be well worth everyone's while.

Essentially, as the title suggests, the book is designed to give a fairly extensive history of each of the eleven World Cup tournaments and many statistics back this up. Some of the statistics will be fairly standard and familiar whilst I hope that others will be of greater interest.

Each competition is covered with the main statistics of that tournament and I am hoping that the miscellany section will both amuse and inform. I am locked away in a back room for my day job and if people feel sorry for me and feel that I need to get out more, I shall be absolutely delighted! The miscellany for each tournament covers titbits of information such as bowlers with most maidens in an innings, birthday matches and left-arm bowlers with most wickets in a tournament etc.

I have included an extensive fixture list which gives a resume and details of all World Cup matches played between the participating countries for each of the World Cup fixtures. England, for example, have only lost one World Cup match to West Indies but sadly it was the 1979 final.

I am delighted that Vic Marks, who taught me at school many years ago and has been unable to shake me off since, has very kindly written the foreword. Who better especially as Vic still holds England's best World Cup bowling figures.

There is a brief description of each ground and participating country with World Cup figures as well as a Players to Watch section. I freely admit in this section that I am, shall we say, keeping my fingers crossed that some of the many choices I have named are actually selected. New Zealand have recently named their squad and, well, so far so good.

The book is due out on 30 April, two days after my birthday. Anyone interested in it can, at the time of writing this article, pre-order directly with Pen & Sword or Amazon.
  A History and Guide to the Cricket World Cup