Raiders of the Caribbean
by Trent Johnston and Gerard Siggins.
Dublin, O'Brien Press, 2007.
ISBN: 978-1-84717-064-4
240pp, €14.95

It's hard to imagine a better story to tell than that of Ireland's epic exploits during the 2007 World Cup. It has everything: heroic efforts against the odds, a tie, the occasional anticlimax, and even a suspicious, possibly violent death, all against fabulous tropical backdrops. Agatha Christie couldn't have invented anything more absorbing.

As captain of the Irish side, Trent Johnston is well placed to give us an inside version, while Ger Siggins is among the small but dedicated band of Irish cricket journalists, and was with the squad throughout their campaign. Raiders of the Caribbean has everything going for it.

Up to a point, it lives up to expectations. As a record of a remarkable sporting adventure, it should be on the bookshelves of every enthusiast for Associates cricket. And yet in some ways it disappoints.

The book is jointly rather than co-written, in that the authors have evidently contributed alternate chapters, Johnston concentrating mainly on the cricket and Siggins giving more emphasis to the context.

This is logical enough, but it does have its disadvantages. There is, inevitably, a certain amount of duplication (as when we are told twice about Johnston's poor treatment by some of his team-mates when he was playing club cricket in London), and there are occasional inconsistencies. Steve Rixon, for example, appears both as the man responsible for Johnston's coming to Ireland and as the terminator of his Australian first-class career - both are no doubt true, and are probably connected, but this is one of the places where the book could have benefited from some careful copy-editing.

The division of labour has another down-side as well: Johnston is a modest narrator, and his own efforts don't always get the prominence they deserve. This is his version of the superb running catch he took to dismiss Pakistan's Kamran Akmal: ‘Akmal … mistimed a hook shot, which I somehow managed to clutch running back and diving to my left'.

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