World Cup stars reveal favourite books

Chennai, India - Leading cricket stars have revealed their favourite books on the day that the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Room to Read announced a partnership to promote literacy and access to books at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
A player from each of the 14 competing teams at the tournament has contributed to the ultimate World Cup reading list as part of a campaign to promote the importance of reading and to raise awareness of the work that Room to Read does in offering educational opportunities to young people.
Among the player choices are a number of sports biographies, including Andre Agassi’s ‘Open’, selected by both Shane Watson and Virat Kohli. West Indies left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn selected Super Cat a book on the life of former Windies legend Clive Lloyd's as his favourite. Fiction books chosen by the stars include Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, chosen by Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal, and 1984 by George Orwell, selected by Ireland’s Ed Joyce.
Shane Watson (Australia) – Open by Andre Agassi
I have read many books but my favourite out of all of these is Andre Agassi's autobiography,
"Open". Throughout the whole book he describes his thoughts and feelings going through his mind so unbelievably well. It is like you, as the reader, are in the moment with him. An amazing man with an amazing story.
Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh) - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by JK Rowling
I was actually imagining myself as Harry Potter. That's the power of the writer. I thought I could do anything. It was such an engaging tale that I was reading it day and night, at every break.
Zubin Surkari (Canada) - Life by Keith Richards
Being a closet rocker, this book was a great look into the life of someone society has labeled and rebel or trouble maker. On the contrary, his life, although extreme and at times dangerous, started in humble beginnings in what seemed a normal family upbringing with a massive passion for all varieties of music. The book however quickly reassures you about the myth that is Keith Richards and delivers full value on his many years of experience and that of the Rolling Stones. A great read and a window into the life of a real music entertainer.
Luke Wright (England) - Goosebump Series by R L Stine
The Goosebumps series by R L Stine were my absolute favourite books growing up and they were the first books I really enjoyed reading when I was about 10. Sometimes scary, sometimes funny and always exciting the books follow kids dealing with monsters, ghosts and strange goings on. A brilliant read.
Virat Kohli (India) – Open by Andre Agassi
I like Andre Agassi's autobiography. The author tells the story of his remarkable career, which featured many ups and downs. The best part about the book is that at no point does the author try
to project himself as a 'superhuman.' He is as human as you and me, but a champion and an inspiration.
Ed Joyce (Ireland) – 1984 by George Orwell
I first read 1984 by George Orwell when I was about 14 and I can't remember loving reading something as much as I did this book. It was scary and clever in equal measure and I think I finished it in a couple of sittings. I love being able to go back to a book and discover it anew and I must have read it 10 times since. Concepts such as 'doublethink' and 'big brother' were of course introduced in this book and it is interesting to see how these ideas have played out in the years since the book was first published in 1949. Definitely a must-read!
Steve Tikolo (Kenya) – Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela is a legend and an icon who is admired all over the world. When I heard that his biography was out on sale, I told myself this was a book I must read. I have always admired him for his humility and the sacrifices he made in life for the people of South Africa so they could have a free country where everyone lives freely as brothers and sisters. When I read the book I was deeply moved and learn a lot of lessons have helped me in life.
Peter Borren (Netherlands) – Night train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier
I loved this book because it was so thought provoking. Whilst reading it, one cannot help but question one’s own life and the reasons for and the consequences of the decisions we make.
Kane Williamson (New Zealand) – Jack Reach Series by Lee Child
The books I’m reading at the moment are my favourite – the Jack Reacher Series by Lee Child. I enjoy biographies and autobiographies but I like the action and crime of the Jack Reacher books and they are a great read. I used to read a little bit at school and neglected it through college but have recently got right back into it and am glued to these books.
Shahid Afridi (Pakistan) – Fazail-E-Amaal by Muhammad Zakariya Kandhlawi
This book did affect me as a human being, as well as a Muslim, since the first time I read it in 2003. This book is about the simple life of our beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad Peace be Upon Him and his sayings. He spent his whole life as a role model for humanity, showing them the right pathway to help and care about others.
Wayne Parnell (South Africa) – The Stand by Stephen King
I love the thrill and the suspense in his novels. His style of writing has a way of involving the reader, so you can kind of feel like “you are in the novel”, and there is nothing better than a book that you just can’t put down. The reason I fell in love with his books is because when I was younger, my mother and I would spent a lot of time watching movies that recreated his books. As I got older and started reading at school, I chased after his books and became very fond of them.
Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka) Talent Is Never Enough by John Maxwell.
Maxwell has identified 13 choices that we need to make so as to maximise our talent which I found to be very enlightening. This includes ‘teamwork’, which divides the effort and multiplies the effect. So, I find the book thought-provoking considering its relevancy in helping me to be the very best that I can be as a cricketer and human being.
Sulieman Benn (West Indies) – Supercat: The Authorised Biography of Clive Lloyd
Clive Lloyd is one of the greatest West Indian cricketers of all time and his book gave me a good idea of the challenges he faced and how he overcame them. Reading about his performances and the thinking that went into his game, provided me with a good idea of what it means to represent the West Indies and what playing for the West Indies means to the people.
Graeme Cremer (Zimbabwe) - It’s Not About The Bike by Lance Armstrong.
I like this book because I found it inspirational. I read it about a year ago. It is a sports autobiography so I found it particularly relevant to me and my career to see how another sportsman overcame the difficulties he faced in the sporting arena. I found his attitude of resilience in the face of illness and extreme challenges to be particularly motivating
Room to Read is seeking to transform the lives of millions of children across Asia and Africa by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organisations and governments, the charity aims to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children. It also supports girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond.
Among the cricket-playing countries in which Room to Read publishes books, establishes libraries and builds schools are Cricket World Cup hosts Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.  The organisation has already benefitted 4.1 million young people in nine countries, including 10,000 girls on educational scholarships, and it has distributed in excess of 8 million English and local language books, and established 10,000 libraries and over 1,100 schools. By 2015, Room to Read aims to have helped 10 million children.
At the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, there will be a series of player interactions promoting Room to Read, while fans will be encouraged to donate money to fund projects through The ICC has also helped establish Room to Read libraries in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka as part of the ICC Cricket World Cup legacy.
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: “The ICC is committed to using the popularity of cricket and its Great Spirit to raise awareness of important social causes. By working with Room to Read at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, we hope to highlight the importance of literacy for all.”
John Wood, Room to Read Founder and Board Chair, added: “We are thrilled to partner with ICC during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 to promote awareness and raise support for children’s education among a captive and diverse audience of millions.
“It is exciting to see cricketing heroes use their celebrity to inspire their littlest fans in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and many other countries to read and seek knowledge. Every day we lose is a day we can’t get back, so we hope that cricket enthusiasts from around the world will join in our global campaign to make sure every child has the ability and opportunity to learn.”
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