Essential writings about cricket by the essential cricket commentator. `"Essential" is a big word in terms of ambition, but the contents of this book were essential in their time to the writer - but, while he cannot claim that they will be that to a reader, he wishes everyone who does read them something of the pleasure he had from writing them.' John Arlott, from the Preface Across a broadcasting career of some thirty-four years, the late John Arlott's commentating on cricket, above all on `Test Match Special', earned him a popularity and affection unmatched by any who followed him. As Ian Botham noted, `He was Cricket, there has never been a commentator like him and there never will be.' This book collects together his writings on cricket and cricketers across forty years. It contains pen portraits of the game's famous and not so famous figures, as well as jottings, diary entries and articles written for, among others, `The Cricketer', `Wisden Cricket Monthly' and the `Guardian'. The qualities of his commentary that endeared him to listeners - articulate, leisurely, unfussy, but with a turn of phrase that was almost poetic - are all to be found here. For admirers of Arlott himself, and for anyone who cares about cricket, THE ESSENTIAL ARLOTT is essential reading.