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An Island’s Eleven: The Story of Sri Lankan Cricket

Rs. 4,590.00

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Nicholas Brookes


  • MCC/Cricket Society and Wisden Book Of The Year 2023


A tour de force of scholarship and storytelling. There have been plenty of good books on Sri Lankan cricket, but few as comprehensive or as entertaining as ‘An Island’s Eleven’. Ambitious in scope and lovingly compiled, it’s packed with anecdotes, insights and surprises. An enthralling read — Shehan Karunatilaka


Nicholas Brookes has filled a gap in cricket literature. This wonderful book, based on compendious research, tells the great story of Sri Lankan cricket, how it began in schools and colleges and emerged to become one of the great forces in world cricket. It is more than a cricket book: it is also indispensable for understanding Sri Lanka itself. This book should be in the library of every serious cricket lover. It has been written with real passion and understanding. A great debut from a serious sports historian — Peter Oborne ― bestselling author of Wounded Tiger: A History of Cricket in Pakistan


This is an impeccably researched and beautifully told story, enhanced with anecdotes and first-hand accounts, of the rise of Sri Lankan cricket from its colonial roots to becoming world beaters with some of the greatest cricketers to play the game — Mike Selvey

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From Sathasivam to Sangakkara, Murali to Malinga, Sri Lanka can lay claim to some of the world’s most remarkable cricketers – larger-than-life characters who thumbed convention and played the game their own way. More so than anywhere else in the world, Sri Lankan cricket has an identity. This is the land of pint-sized swashbuckling batsman, on-the-fly innovators and contorted, cryptic spinners.

On the field of play, Victorian ideals of the past collide with madcap tropical hedonism to create something dizzying. Cricket is Sri Lanka, and Sri Lanka is cricket. We all know the story of the ’96 World Cup: how a team of unfancied amateurs rose from obscurity to the top the world, doing so with such swagger that they changed the way the game was played. Yet the lore of Sri Lankan cricket stretches back much further.

In the early days, matches between colonists and locals imbued cricket with a nationalistic drive. Ashes-bound ships stopping over in Colombo brought the world’s biggest stars, from Bligh and Bradman to Grace and Grimmet. More recently, Sri Lanka has had to face the triumphs and tragedies that come when cash flows freely into the gentleman’s game.
An Island’s Eleven tells this story for the first time, focusing on the characters and moments that have shaped the game forever.


About the Author

Nicholas Brookes is an English writer, who has been based in Colombo since April 2018. He has covered Sri Lankan cricket and its history for international publications including ESPN’s The Cricket Monthly and Wisden’s The Nightwatchman.


Book Specifications

Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 552
Publisher: Penguin
Published Year: 2022
ISBN: 978-0670094509


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