New book hits the spot

Donald Carr: Derbyshire's Corinthian - by John Shawcroft
Donald Carr: Derbyshire's Corinthian - by John Shawcroft

Donald Carr has led a full and interesting life in the services of cricket - both on and off the field - as this very readable new biography makes abundantly clear.

Donald Carr - Derbyshire’s Corinthian is the latest in the Lives In Cricket series from ACS Publications. It is written by John Shawcroft, author of a number of acclaimed books about cricket in the county - and also the former editor of the Ripley and Heanor News.

Carr, now aged 87 and living in well-deserved retirement in Hertfordshire, was the ex-Repton School pupil who went on to represent Oxford University with distinction, played for the acclaimed amateur football side Pegasus, captained Derbyshire CCC for eight years, took on the world’s best when still a teenager in the 1945 Victory Tests, earned two caps for England - the second as captain - and gained a fine reputation for his all-round skills at the County Ground as an enterprising batsman, skilled left-arm spinner and entertaining, well-liked skipper.

And then, when he decided to hang his boots up in the early 1960s, he filled a number of key roles in the administration of cricket in this country, notably with the TCCB and MCC, covering an incident-packed period which included the D’Oliveira Affair and Kerry Packer’s setting up of the breakaway World Series Cricket, which changed the world game forever.

With a foreword from no less a figure than Tom Graveney, this book features copious interview input from Carr himself and tells an interesting tale which now seems to come from a very different age, the era of gentlemen and players (amateurs and professionals) when it was perfectly possible for a young man to captain his country in only his second test match.

This is a relatively brief book that entertainly speeds through a packed life in cricket, in a very enjoyable manner, with plenty to keep the interest of the reader.

For those who have enjoyed John Shawcroft’s other books about Derbyshire cricket, this is another winner.

The book is available from ACS Publications at www.acscricket.com, from John Shawcroft on 01773 744580 or from the County Ground. John is due to carry out a book signing session at the County Ground at lunchtime on Sunday, June 15, and Queen’s Park, Chesterfield, on July 7.