‘This is a great tale, and what’s more, it’s beautifully told.’ – Simon Barnes
From Sathasivam to Sangakkara, Murali to Malinga, Sri Lanka can lay claim to some of the world’s most remarkable cricketers – larger-than-life characters who thumbed convention and played the game their own way. This is the land of pint-sized, swashbuckling batsmen, on-the-fly innovators and contorted, cryptic spinners. More so than anywhere else in the world, Sri Lankan cricket has an identity: cricket is Sri Lanka, and Sri Lanka is cricket.
We all know the story of the 1996 World Cup: how a team of unfancied amateurs rose from obscurity and changed the way the game was played. Yet the lore of Sri Lankan cricket stretches back much further, from early matches between colonists and locals, and Ashes-bound ships bringing in cricket’s biggest stars, to the more recent triumphs and tragedies that stem from cash flowing freely into the game. An Island’s Eleven tells this story in full for the first time, focusing on the characters and moments that have shaped the game forever.