Named Wisden Book of the Year 2009. For more than forty summers, J M Kilburn was one of cricket’s major romantic poets; the Coleridge to Neville Cardus’ Wordsworth. His cultivated and authoritative essays captured the spirit and beauty of the game and the legends gracing it, among them Donald Bradman, Fred Trueman, Jack Hobbs, Keith Miller, Garfield Sobers, Hedley Verity and Walter Hammond. His pure, vivid prose traps in ink and paper an unforgettable era that will never return. He writes of the days when 8,000 people watched Yorkshire’s County Championship matches; when he travelled by ship on an Ashes tour with his friend Len Hutton; and of a bygone but beautiful period when one-day matches, coloured clothing and rampant commercialism in cricket simply didn’t exist. Now you can explore these summer days in a richly satisfying collection of Kilburn’s work gleaned from the Yorkshire Post, Wisden and The Cricketer. His words bring to life again the palatial splendour of the past and the classic combat between bat and ball beneath cobalt skies. Kilburn is worth reading not only because he was a knowledgeable and respected interpreter of cricket – well balanced, tough-minded and scrupulously honest in his verdicts – but also for the valuable historical and social perspective that reading him provides. Most of all he demonstrably cared about cricket. His heart was in it – and belonged to it.