Frith's Encounters

by David Frith

Published by:
21 Sackville Road, Hove

Pages: 240

MRP: 15


David Frith has been very good to and for cricket. Accepted as one of the greatest cricket historians and writers of his age, he has written thirty-six books on various cricketing subjects ranging from his outstanding pictorial history of England vs Australia Test matches to cricketing suicides and many other subjects in between. An editor of The Cricketer and founder cum editor of Wisden Cricket Monthly, followers of cricket have a lot to thank David Frith for.

His latest book, Frith's Encounters, is a joyful memoir of his meetings with the good and great of cricket and encompasses legends such from the 19th century such as Sydney Barnes and Wilfred Rhodes to the more recent Peter Roebuck. What comes across in Frith's writing is the pleasure derived from meeting the best players of the day. Frith's book starts with a sentence about hand shakes with distinguished people and the feeling he gives is one of exuberance at the honour of meeting such well-known and excellent cricketers. Many of the encounters he mentions are accompanied by photographs of the author taken with the cricketers. It counts as a memory. What's an autograph if not personally achieved? Frith's Encounters is a pleasure to read for not only the general joy which he seems to have achieved through the meetings but also giving the reader more of an insight into the famous cricketers of the age.

His meetings were not just with cricketers. Kerry Packer appears too and is credited with being able to play also. David Frith himself was a more than decent player as well. Well-respected journalist, Frank Keating, has his own chapter as does doyen of cricket writers, E.W. Swanton, and readers should be thankful to David Frith for his observations on cricketers and those involved in the game who are no longer with us.

With his affiliations to both England and Australia, we are treated to rare insights into English and Australian cricketers from the Golden Age to the advent of the Packer era. Who wouldn't be a tad jealous of meeting Sir Donald Bradman and many of his Invincible side of 1948? Sadly, there is no chance now so once again we must be very grateful to David Frith for recounting his many experiences in this excellently produced book.