book cover Not Cricket
by Raewyn Caisley

Novel | 148 pp | Years 58

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[ Overview | Author profile | Useful websites | Focus questions ]


Nick is an ace wicket-keeper who loves to play cricket. He greatly respects his primary school coach who believes in the spirit of cricket and trains the team to play fairly. As the end of primary school draws near, Nick decides to join a local club so he can keep improving at the game. With the encouragement of his father, Nick joins his dad's old club and earns a spot as wicket-keeper. Unfortunately things don't go to plan and Nick's dreams turn sour. The team members are unfriendly, being more interested in personal achievements than team effort, and as far as Nick is concerned they don't play by the rules.

Torn between his mother's sense of fair play and his father's dreams that his son would play for his old cricket team, Nick becomes increasingly unhappy as the true nature of his new team mates comes to light. Sledging the opposition, tampering with the ball, ignoring the captain and refusing to 'walk' are behaviours that Nick does not agree with. His first reaction is to leave the club and, when he walks after being given not out, anger builds between him and the team. It is time to get out or make a stand.

Author profile

Raewyn Caisley was born in New Zealand but has lived in Australia for the past 18 years. She has travelled extensively between the capital cities and currently lives in Fremantle in Western Australia with her husband, Terry, and son, Jack. Raewyn has written several books about different sports including Karate Star, Tennis Star and Top Marks. Other books for younger readers include Monkey Trix, The Mermaid's Tail and The Queen's Cubby.

Useful websites

Focus questions

Before reading the book

  • What do you think the title of the book is referring to?
  • How does the information in the blurb help explain the title?
  • What do the terms 'sledging' and 'ball tampering' refer to?
  • Why do you think Nick does not approve of these behaviours?
  • Who are some of the people you think may influence Nick?

During and after reading the book

  • What is the meaning of the title? How important is the title to the major theme of the story?
  • How do Nick's school team and the cricket club differ?
  • What position do you think the author has on the importance of winning compared with the spirit in which you play the game? Justify your answer with examples from the text.
  • How did Nick take responsibility for his decision to 'walk'?
  • In what ways did the expectations of parents affect the responsibilities of players in the club team?

© Curriculum Corporation 2006