Gentleman and Player



For the third time this week, we have received the wonderful news that another Pitch Publishing book and author have been nominated for a major prize. Well done to Andrew Murtagh, author of Gentleman and Player, which has been long-listed for the prestigious Cricket Society and MCC Book of the Year Award 2018.

Vic Marks, former England and Somerset cricketer and current Observer/ Guardian cricket writer and Test Match Special commentator, chairs a panel of judges which considers books nominated by Cricket Society and MCC members. For the 2018 competition (books about cricket published during 2017 are eligible), a short list will be announced next year and the overall winner announced at an event, in the Long Room at Lord's on Wednesday 18 April 2018.

Colin Cowdrey is remembered for the elegance of his strokeplay; but there was much more to this complex man than a classical cover drive. Gentleman and Player offers a unique insight into its subject, both on and off the cricket field.

  • The Cowdrey family granted the author, Andrew Murtagh, unfettered access to Colin Cowdrey's personal papers, which hitherto had not seen the light of day
  • Murtagh unearthed a treasure trove of diaries, letters, documents and memorabilia, including correspondence with world figures such as Don Bradman, John Major and Nelson Mandela
  • This new material helped to peel away the protective layers of a very private and complex man
  • Numerous former team-mates and opponents have been unstinting in providing memories and anecdotes from his playing career
  • As a former county cricketer who played against Cowdrey, the author is unusually placed to describe and interpret his subject’s pre-eminence as a cricketer
  • The author was also on the field when Andy Roberts famously broke Cowdrey’s jaw with a wicked bouncer, in the days before helmets
  • As an experienced biographer of cricketers, the author brings to life the story of perhaps England’s best-loved but least-understood batsman of his age

Click here for more information, or to read a sample from Gentleman and Player.