Five of the most important pieces of cricket memorabilia

England's opening Test Match against Sri Lanka is coming up at Lords this Thursday.

To celebrate, let's look at five of the most important pieces of cricket memorabilia ever sold.

5) Sachin Tendulkar's bat - £58,480

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar doing what he does best - Image: Wikimedia Commons

Sachin Tendulkar is the only player to score both 100 centuries and a dizzying 30,000 runs on the international stage, alongside a litany of other achievements.

Understandably, he is a hugely popular figure in his native India.

This was demonstrated when a bat "the little master" used in his unbeaten one-day innings of 163 against New Zealand in 2009 auctioned for a suitably impressive £58,480 in Mumbai in 2010.

4) MS Dhoni's World Cup bat - £100,000

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni in 2013 - Image: Wikimedia Commons

The present India captain is one of the highest paid athletes in the world.

In 2011, he led the side to an incendiary victory against Sri Lanka in the World Cup Final, achieving an unbeaten 91 in a match that has gone down as one of the all time greats.

The bat he used was sold in a charity auction in London later that year, where it made £100,000.

3) Wisden's Almanac complete set - £120,000

Wisden Almanac cricket
Wisden Almanac - before the yellow cover - Image: Graham Budd Auctions

Wisden's Almanac - or "the Bible of Cricket" to its devotees - has been running annually since 1864 and compiles scorecards and statistics alongside comment and coverage on all aspects of the game.

In 2007 this complete set, containing every issue from the past 143 years, sold for £120,000 at Graham Budd Auctions in London.

2) Don Bradman's 'Invincibles' tour cap - £175,375

Australia 1948
The Australian side en-route to thrash England in 1948 - Image: Wikimedia Commons

No batsman has come close to matching Australian Don Bradman's 99.94 batting average.

In 1948, Australia (captained by Bradman) toured England without being beaten once in the 34 games they played - an achievement that earned them the nickname "the invincibles".

In 2008, the cap that Bradman wore during the tour sold at Charles Leski Auctions for £175,375.

1) Samuel Britcher's cricket scorebooks - £324,000

Britcher annual
  Before Wisden there was Britcher - Image: Christie's

Before Wisden there was Samuel Britcher, the legendary archivist who kept score at the newly established Marylebone Cricket Club from its foundation in 1787.

From 1790-1805 he published an annual compilation under the title: "A list of all the principal Matches of Cricket that have been played in the year…"

In 2005, a collection of Britcher's original handwritten scorecards sold for £324,000 - setting a new world record for a piece of cricket memorabilia at auction.

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