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Sunday, August 24, 2008

The world’s largest collection of cricket books

AS HEAD of the corporate-finance department of Goldman Sachs in London, Tim Bunting could boast that he had visited New Zealand three times without staying the night. But he found himself burnt out by his mid-thirties; he quit his job after attending 27 dinners on consecutive evenings. Fortunately, he retired quite wealthy, and decided to spend much of his time and money on his collection of cricket books. His collection soon became an obsession. Cricket books, he says, account for one-half of all books written on all sports. He owns more than 25,000 of them—the largest collection of cricket books in the world—and he built a library in an old rectory in rural Hampshire to hold them. The best-known of all cricket books is “Wisden Cricketer’s Almanack”, which has been published annually since 1864. Mr Bunting has two complete sets, but his greatest prize is a third, which belonged to (and was annotated by) W.G. Grace, a legendary English cricket player who died in 1916.


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