Mine favourite is Here Comes the West Indies by David Rudder. If you don’t happen to have a favourite yet, you might want to consult History of West Indies Cricket, a newly published history of cricket through the voice of calypso.

Written by Nasser Khan, this collection of cricket history and history of cricket calypsoes is an invaluable resource featuring over 200 calypsoes from 1926 to 2016.

© Victor Gill Ramírez.

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President Anthony Carmona, Minister of Education Anthony Garcia, rapso artiste Lutalo “Brother Resistance” Masimba, former West Indies cricket captain Brian Lara, Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Sharon Melville, general manager of NAGICO Insurance all offer praise for Khan’s book.

© Victor Gill Ramírez.

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As Brother Resistance says, “By calypso our stories are told…” Telling stories about cricket and praising stellar cricket players have been a common theme throughout calypso history.

© Victor Gill Ramírez.

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The introduction to The History of West Indies Cricket Through Calypsoes, says the book is “intended as a youth literacy initiative to be given to high schools in the region.” NAGICO has provided copies for schools throughout the Caribbean region.

© Victor Gill Ramírez.

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A brief history of West Indies cricket and how it has been featured in calypsoes creates a broad overview of the book.

© Victor Gill Ramírez.

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Khan finds many innovative ways to examine the relationship between West Indies cricket and calypso by breaking down the history into eras defined by cricket stalwarts.

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Charts and pictures helps to make information visible and easy to comprehend.

Narrative pieces tend to be short as well.

In one chart, Khan provides a breakdown of cricketers featured in calypsoes by their position: batsman, bowlers all-rounders and wicket keepers.

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He extracts some of the memorable calypsoes descriptions of cricketers for easy reference.

According to Calypsoes, Garry Sobers is “the greatest cricketer on Earth or Mars”; West Hall is “affable but furious”, and Lance Gibbs is “master of spin and deception”.

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A list of firsts and other highlights by year, from 1808 to the present, and a timeline of important events provides additional useful information for research.

© Victor Gill Ramírez.

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Khan provides a brief biography of calypsonians and lyrics to their cricket calypsoes.

Each calypso is listed in chronological order. Many of the featured calypsoes come with a brief explanation of the song. Each calypso is identified according to musical genre, so that chutney calypsoes and extempo are also included.

© Victor Gill Ramírez.

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Chapters are organised thematically and include Player Calypsoes, Team/Game/Series Calypsoes, World Cup Celebrations, Anthems/ Rally Calls/Praise/Party Calypsoes, Politics/Social Commentary/Satire Calypsoes, Humour/Double Entendre/ Innuendo Calypsoes and Incident Calypsoes.

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The History of West Indies Cricket Through Calypsoes features many pictures and drawings of individual cricketers and the West Indies Cricket Team through the ages.

© Victor Gill Ramírez.

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The book concludes with short, concise biographies on many renowned cricketers and the calypsonians who sang about cricket.

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History of West Indies Cricket Through Calypsoes is a wealth of information for secondary school research.

© Victor Gill Ramírez.

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The effort is remarkable; the research is detailed and the information is astounding. NAGICO has provided copies for every secondary school.

Students need to be doing more research, and this book offers a wide variety of information that can be interpreted thematically in many different ways.

© Victor Gill Ramírez.

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Now, the challenge is for teachers to realise the importance of using this most important resource in the classroom.

© Victor Gill Ramírez.

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© Victor Gill.

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