Only one masterpiece has ever been written about the game: Beyond a Boundary, by the intellectual and political agitator C. L. R. James. It is a book that transcends all other books on the subject in the same way that Sir Donald Bradman existed in a solitary eminence above all other batsmen. I don’t think that an English writer could ever have written a book of such calibre, because our literary culture has wrongly regarded sport as trivial. By contrast James treated cricket with deep moral seriousness, for in the West Indies, where he was born and bred, the game formed a central part of the culture of the islands. The most important theme of his book is how cricket created a new national consciousness which enabled the West Indies to shake off their colonial oppressors. The development of this argument confers a wonderful amplitude on Beyond a Boundary.