Who would have thought that two red-hot ODI cricketers from two different countries could have the same favourite book but that's exactly what happened when Virat Kohli and Shane Watson picked American tennis legend Andre Agassi's autobiography 'Open' as their treasured reading.
A leading cricketer from each of the 14 World Cup participating countries revealed their favourite book in a joint initiative by the ICC and 'Room to Read 'to promote global literacy campaign and access to books.
Like Watson and Kohli, Zimbabwe's Graeme Cremer selected another sports autobiography -- controversial cycling legend Lance Armstrong's 'It's Not About The Bike' -- while Sulieman Benn of West Indies chose a sports biography 'Supercat' of twice World Cup-winning captain Clive Lloyd.
Fiction books picked by the stars include by JK Rowling's 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone', chosen by Tamim Iqbal of Bangladesh and '1984' by George Orwell, selected by Ireland's Ed Joyce.
Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi chose 'Fazail-E-Amaal', written by Muhammad Zakariya Kandhlawi as his favourite book, while South African Wayne Parnell picked 'The Stand' by Stephen King. Sri Lankan Angelo Mathews went for 'Talent Is Never Enough' by John Maxwell.
Canada's Zubin Sukari chose 'Life' by Keith Richards while England's Luke Wright selected 'Goosebump Series' by R L Stine.
Kenya's Steve Tikolo seemed to have been inspired by South African Apartheid hero Nelson Mandela as he picked 'Long Walk to Freedom' as his favourite book.
Netherlands' Peter Borren chose 'Night train to Lisbon' by Pascal Mercier as his favourite reading while New Zealand's Kane Williamson picked 'Jack Reach Series' by Lee Child. '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.
World Cup hosts Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka are among the cricket-playing countries in which 'Room to Read' publishes books, establishes libraries and builds schools.
There will be a series of player interactions promoting 'Room to Read' during the World Cup. The ICC has also helped establish 'Room to Read' libraries in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka as part of the World Cup legacy.
"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," said Kohli.
Watson said, "I have read many books but my favourite out of all of these is Andre Agassi's autobiography, 'Open'. Throughout the 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.