Usually, cricket writers in Pakistan stay cricket writers for life, but statistician-turned-editor Shoaib Ahmed has dared to take the giant leap of faith and become an author.
He launched his book Cricket World Cup Odyssey during the Cricket World Cup 2019, and now that the mega event is over, you can get your hands on his book and know about the previous events for fun, and knowledge. Loads of information is available in this book that makes it a must-have for your collection.
Cricket World Cup Odyssey is laced with information that you don’t usually find on the internet until you specifically search for them. It tells us why eight teams were included in the first World Cup when there were just six Test-playing nations in 1975; the names of the players that “boycotted” the fourth World Cup because it was held outside England; which match was the most highly attended one; and which player was chosen for the 1983 World Cup after he had announced retirement from the game. These bits of information are found on the interesting fact section that is there on every other page and makes you keep turning to the next page.
This book is different from other World Cup collections because of many things. First, it covers all the World Cups backward. Second, it has many unseen pictures accompanying the text. The reason why we read about the 2015 edition before the 1975 one has been described by the author as a new trend, as he wants readers to move from latest to being nostalgic. It is a good strategy because, by the time you are in the 1980s, you will be reliving the events as if you were there. At a time when you want to know about the past World Cups, especially the ones in which England lost in the finals, this book gives you the reason to read, explore and discover at the same time. In fact, it wouldn’t be incorrect to say that this book has something for everyone be it the young readers or the old as the concise match reports, behind the scene happenings and pre-event hype is discussed in detail.
Why would one get a book about the World Cup tournament when all the information is available on the internet? The reason to have a World Cup book is that you can check all abbreviated scores of previous matches without going online. The statistics are complete till the end of the last World Cup and you can add the ones from this year for fun with your friends. So the next time you want to know what happened the last time two specific teams played each other, or the result of the last match between any two sides, in any of the last World Cups, don’t go online but offline to find out the answers.
The best part of the book is that it is affordably priced, at Rs 2500, and has a foreword from the very person who led Pakistan in the first two World Cups — Asif Iqbal. If you are an avid cricket follower and love the game like most Pakistanis, this book can be a goldmine for you, because it will enable you to live the past, enjoy the present and above all, give you the confidence of challenging your friends to a game of your own.