David Williams is the author, and co-author of several books.

South Africa's Greatest BatsmenSouth Africa’s Greatest Batsmen – Past and Present

South Africa has produced some of the best batsmen in the world, with AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla dominating the recent ICC rankings. Previous teams and generations have included their own legends. But who are the greatest of them all?

Following the success of their book Jacques Kallis and 12 Other Great South African All-rounders, Ali Bacher and David Williams now turn their attention to South Africa’s top batsmen. The book features early legends such as Herby Taylor and Dudley Nourse; the world-beating Graeme Pollock and Barry Richards, whose careers were cut short by isolation; the unshakeable Gary Kirsten and Jacques Kallis, who built the foundation of the Proteas’ post isolation success; the big-scoring captain Graeme Smith and his South African-born England counterpart Kevin Pietersen; and the swashbuckling Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers, who dominate the current game. It also considers two players who, but for apartheid, might have been their equals in the Test-match arena.

South Africa’s Greatest Batsmen provides fascinating insights about each man’s background and career, his batting technique, and his main achievements at the crease. Based on new interviews, the book will take the reader down memory lane as former and current players reminisce about their most important innings, the bowlers they most feared and the teammates they most respected.This is a book that no cricket fan can be without.

  • ISBN: 9781770228658
  • eBook ISBN: 9781770228665
  • Co-author: Ali Bacher
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House
  • Published: August 2015

Jacques Kallis and 12 Other Great South African All-Rounders - David WilliamsJacques Kallis and 12 Other Great South African All-rounders

South Africa has produced more great cricket all-rounders than any other country, and Jacques Kallis and 12 Other Great South African All-rounders, a first on these remarkable players, is based on records, articles and interviews with living players as well as archival research of early players.

Over a hundred years ago, there was Jimmy Sinclair, the first man to score a century and take six wickets in an innings in a test match. More recently was the brilliant era of Eddie Barlow, Tiger Lance, Mike Procter and Clive Rice, as well as Tony Greig and Basil D’Oliveira, South Africans who played for England. A great tradition was established for the modern era: since re-admission in 1992 there has been Brian McMillan, Shaun Pollock, Lance Klusener and, the greatest of them all, Jacques Kallis. Jacques Kallis and 12 Other Great South African All-rounders is about the 13 men each of whom were worth two or three players in one, worth their place as batsmen or bowlers, adored by the fans, and capable of changing a game with either of their skills.

With a readable mix of anecdotes, commentary and statistics, Jacques Kallis and 12 Other Great South African All-rounders is the first book about these multi-talented heroes of cricket. A very special feature of the book is the inclusion of the careers of four black all-rounders who were unable to play for national teams because of their race.

  • ISBN: 9780143538325
  • eBook ISBN: 9780143531036
  • Co-author: Ali Bacher
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House
  • Published: September 2013

Springboks, Troepies and Cadres - David WilliamsSpringboks, Troepies and Cadres: Stories of the South African Army, 1912-2012

In 2012 the South African Army celebrates its 100th birthday. What started out as a small, ill-equipped organisation grew into the most powerful army on the continent by the 1980s.

Springboks, Troepies and Cadres tells the story of the SA army in telling the stories of the men who shaped it. A divergent group of soldiers, from general officers to ordinary foot soldiers, tells of the tragedies and triumphs of the battles they took part in. Their first-hand accounts vividly bring home the realities of being a soldier, while some of the officers divulge and discuss military strategy.

The book is divided into four eras – World War I, World War II, the Border War and the post-1994 era. Historical battles, including Delville Wood (World War I) and El Alamein (World War II), come alive. The soldiers’ stories have recurring themes: Through the army’s entire history there was as an emphasis on keeping casualties to a minimum and a military ethos that glorified effectiveness rather than sacrifice.

David Williams takes a hard look at the state of the SA army in 2012 and the assortment of challenges it faces – from a lack of resources to racial tension and poor discipline. Yet, for the most part, these stories of the army offer a gripping and inspirational historical record. 

  • ISBN: 9780624047988
  • eBook ISBN: 9780624047995
  • Publisher: Tafelberg
  • Published: September 2012

7 Battles - David Williams

Seven Battles That Shaped South Africa

An excellent guide book about seven decisive battles which shaped South Africa, and the distinctive personalities involved. The authors visited all the sites themselves and the book contains substantial new information, including the Black perspective on the various battles and on the aftermath of Cuito Canavale.


Contents include:

  1. Blood River – 1838 (Dingane; Andries Pretorius)
  2. Isandhlwana/Rorke’s Drift – 1879 (Matyana; Chard)
  3. Majuba – 1881 (Colley; Joubert)
  4. Colenso (“Black Week”) – 1899 (Redvers Buller; Louis Botha)
  5. Delville Wood – 1916
  6. The Western Desert (Sidi Rezegh, Tobruk and El Alamein) – 1942 (Klopper; Dan Pienaar; Erwin Rommel)
  7. Cuito Cuanavale – 1988 (Jannie Geldenhuys; Fidel Castro) 
  • ISBN: 978-0624042983
  • Co-author: Greg Mills
  • Publisher: NB Publishers
  • Published: April 2010

On the Border - David WilliamsOp die Grens - David Williams

ON THE BORDER: The White South African Military Experience 1965-1990 / OP DIE GRENS: Wit Mans Se Militere Ervaring 1965-1990

Though life ‘on the border’ was often deeply upsetting, much of it was plain boring or humdrum, even pleasant, and occasionally hilarious. For those who were there, it was an unforgettable time with after-effects ranging from bitterness to fond nostalgia, often a mix of both.  

David Williams captures an era that defined the life experience of white men who are now between 35 and 60. Conscripts and their families will read this book with a sense of recognition, while those who did not understand the broader picture at the time should find it here.

On the Border / Op die grens is accessible and anecdotal, using personal accounts to enliven the narrative. It draws on the experiences of both conscripts and regulars, moving through basic training to major operations like Savannah, Cassinga and the battles around Cuito Cuanavale in 1987/98 – the conclusion of ‘the war for Africa’. 

  • Afrikaans ISBN: 9780624044680
  • Publisher: Tafelberg
  • Published: September 2008

Toughest of Them All - David WilliamsTOUGHEST OF THEM ALL: South Africa and New Zealand: The Struggle for Rugby Supremacy

This book is the comprehensive history of rugby between South Africa and New Zealand – written by a writer from each country in a remarkably original style.

When South Africa and New Zealand rugby men talk of their hardest, toughest games, it is always those played against each other – two rugby mad countries where the game is virtually a religion. Toughest of Them All is a unique history of the highlights of these monumental rugby encounters, the pinnacle of rugby anywhere in the world, covering the great moments, the great games, and the great players.

  • ISBN: 978-0140295771
  • Co-author: Grant Harding
  • Publisher: Penguin Books SA and New Zealand
  • Published: 2000


Great Games - David WilliamsGREAT GAMES

  • The six great sports which David Williams argues are the most worthy of attention are rugby, soccer, cricket, tennis, golf and boxing.

Why do they get more than the lion’s share of TV coverage and advertising, and produce our sporting household names? What makes them so popular? And why do their supporters care about them so passionately, almost to the extent of religious fervor or out and out war?

Great Games sets out to answer these questions, in a vivid blend of sports history, anecdotes about memorable games or matches, personal reminiscence and fresh analysis.

  • ISBN: 978-0670874309
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Published: 1998















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