AFGHANISTAN TO ZIMBABWE: THE RECORDS, RECORDED

Review: Afghanistan to Zimbabwe: The A to Z of International Cricket Records by Roy Morgan

The indefatigable Roy Morgan’s third book is another work of immense authority which does great service to the game. Following on from his Encyclopaedia of World Cricket and ICC Intercontinental Cup and ICC Intercontinental Shield the distinguishing feature of this book Afghanistan to Zimbabwe: The A to Z of International Cricket Records is the spotlight it also shines on the records of the 96 countries which do not have Test status who nevertheless play official representative cricket. Afghanistan is notable for its presence in all but women's cricket, featuring in ACC and ICC competitions, in first-class cricket, One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 internationals.

Hong Kong’s Chan Sau Ha bowling against Bhutan, from the cover of Afghanistan to Zimbabwe: The A to Z of International Cricket Records by Roy Morgan
Picture by Danny Bowes

Professor Morgan first became exposed to Associate-level cricket during a spell in Malaysia in the late 1960s, it was then that he realised that cricket was “a truly global sport.” What shines through in his magnificent and diligent cataloguing of partnerships, runs, wickets, stumpings and catches is his understanding of the game and the multitudinous conditions in which it is played, by cricketers all over the world, using data “from some 65,000 matches and more than 15,000 players from 1844.”

Three types of cricket, three levels of competition for men and women: Test matches, first-class internationals, multi-innings internationals, Official One Day Internationals and List A One Day Internationals, One Day Internationals, Official Twenty20 Internationals and List A Twenty20 Internationals, they’re all there. All the matches ever scored on paper, or online, whatever exists – taking in a 19th and 20th-century world where cricket was the sport to be noticed at. There are delights on every page, memories of matches one has been to, seen on television, heard on the radio, or been told of, sometimes even by the players themselves just the other day (Page 134 - the highest one-day opening partnership: 334 for the first wicket, by Z.A. Shroff and K.Mendis for Singapore v Thailand at the Kallang in 2002). It tops a category for All One-Day Internationals.



Players familiar and unfamiliar are cited, all those part of the great fabric of cricket. A fundamental reason for the Asian Cricket Council’s tournament record-keeping since September 2004 is to allow all who represent their countries feel connected as cricketers at all levels, to those who have gone before and those who will continue to play, from those who play the game at the very highest-level to those whose international representation takes place on grounds as distant from Test-arenas as deserts are from oceans. Professor Morgan’s book ennobles them all, placing them in the context of a game which is played across the globe by cricketers striving to be the best they can be.

“Records, are, of course continually being broken,” says Professor Morgan, whose catalogue concludes with the most recent men’s and women’s World Twenty20. One wishes him and his colleagues at the Association of Cricket Statisticians every success in refreshing their records.

Afghanistan to Zimbabwe: The A to Z of International Cricket Records by Roy Morgan
PublishNation, London pp191, £7.99 available from www.amazon.co.uk or www.lulu.com

Filed August 8th, 2014