By Mitch Phillips
LONDON (Reuters) – Duncan Hamilton became the first three-time winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award on Thursday for his biography of cricket writer Neville Cardus.
“The Great Romantic: Cricket and the Golden Age of Neville Cardus,” published by Hodder and Stoughton, was the judges’ choice from a six-book short list and earned Hamilton 30,000 pounds ($38,490). He had previously won with books about soccer manager Brian Clough and England pace bowler Harold Larwood.
It is the sixth cricket to win the prestigious award, now in its 31st year.
“The judges were bowled over by the quality of the writing and the way in which Hamilton brings to life the characters that defined cricket between the two world wars,” said Alyson Rudd, chair of the judging panel.
“The author explains that Neville Cardus was unknowable but this book does a very fine job indeed of guiding us through his career and motivations.”
Hamilton’s book shows how Cardus changed sports journalism while also making him something of a star in his own right.
Cardus belied his impoverished origins to also prosper in another class-conscious profession, becoming a music critic of international renown.
The other shortlisted books were (in alphabetical order):
The Rise of the Ultra Runners: A Journey To Edge of Human Endurance – Adharanand Finn.
In Sunshine or in Shadow: How Boxing Brought Hope in the Troubles – Donald McRae.
Rough Magic: Riding the World’s Wildest Horse Race – Lara Prior-Palmer.
Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump – Rick Reilly
Position of Trust: A Football Dream Betrayed – Andy Woodward.
(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Christian Radnedge)