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Playing With Fire: The Autobiography

Playing With Fire: The Autobiography [Kindle Edition]

Nasser Hussain
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Nasser Hussain was acclaimed as England's best cricket captain since Mike Brearley. Under his leadership, a side more famous for its batting collapses and ability to seize defeat from the jaws of victory discovered its backbone. With coach Duncan Fletcher he put some steel into the side; they became a difficult team to beat.

Hussain wore his heart on his sleeve: railing against complacency, defying critics of his place in the batting line-up and making a principled stand at the last World Cup when the ECB seemed incapable of it.

Expect passion, integrity, insight and candour in his eagerly awaited autobiography.

About the Author

Nasser Hussain resigned from the English captaincy in 2003. He lives in Essex with his family.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2816 KB
  • Print Length: 498 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New edition edition (14 Oct 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9QDK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,369 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nasser Hussain's Life - Warts and All 27 Oct 2005
By father2
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is very easy to read. You don't get bogged down as you can easily find with many other autobiographies. Nasser Hussain's life is presented here, warts and all, for the reader to digest and ultimately you will find yourself passing judgment upon a cricketer who has been hated as much as he has been respected. Personally I found his distaste at the cricketing system refreshing in the pages of this book. He respects those who are up front and honest even if the opinions expressed are against his own, while on the other hand he dislikes intensely those who are two faced and sneaky. Nasser Hussain is a man who obviously put lots of peoples backs up during his career but if he had tried to be Mr Nice Guy it is quite clear he would have failed in his quest to be so successful as a cricketer.
There are certain things I personally found quite disturbing. For example the admission that Nasser Hussain's father had had such a huge impact upon Nasser's life and decision to take cricket seriously. One got the impression that this was an example of a classic pushy parent. Nasser Hussain seems to be in fear of upsetting his father, to the point of getting his brother to phone up his father when he stood down as England captain and then again when his career came to an end. Going back to his childhood if Nasser Hussain played well at cricket then the whole family got "chocolate and curry" and his father was happy, but if Nasser Hussain didn't play well then the whole family suffered as a result. Personally I read this, and as a parent, I thought that this is surely unhealthy.
This book details the many confrontations that took place during Nasser Hussain's career and he has obviously upset a lot of people along the way. This apparently enabled him to play cricket with fire and passion.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We drink lager here David, not Champagne 17 Jun 2005
I ploughed through this in a couple of days. It is an immensely readable book by a very engaging man. Hussain appeals to me: he really wants to get inside the heads of the people he admires or doesn't understand. Steve Waugh, Andy Caddick, Tim Lamb and others all merit more than passing mentions as those players and administrators who Hussain has come across.
But this is far more than a chronological trot through English cricket in the 1990s. We see the sources of Hussain's huge passion to succeed and impress his father. We read about the staggering acts of will Hussain submitted himself to to drag the English game from its lowest edd during and after the 1999 World Cup.
Debate about how good a captain Hussain was is irrelevant because he was the only sound choice in the circumstances. Reading between the lines, one sees that much as Hussain admires Butcher, Stewart, Trescothick and co, he really felt that he was the only one that could be the captain England needed at the time. Hussain is too honest here to admit as much but it's clear to any reader with more than a passing interest.
Much of the talk of the dressing room amuses but also reveals the petty streaks Hussain knows he was guilty of and contributed to his being overlooked when Atherton resigned. That he has admitted as much rather lessens the cause of those that would point fingers and demand he should have grown up sooner. He is very self aware. Cricket is an analyst's game and Hussain's characteristic introversion lends itself to his study and immersion in the game.
In many respects this is no more than a run of the mill autobiography. Its strength though is its subject because Hussain is engaging, thoughtful and almost fearlessly revealing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Playing with fire, written with passion 27 July 2006
I always find it fascinating to read the autobiographies of England cricket captains as they have such huge influence on and off the pitch. It's interesting to hear the thought processes behind their decisions and the usually revealing pen portraits of their fellow cricketers.

Nasser Hussain's autobiography has plenty of these revelations but even more, it provides a huge insight into the roots behind the determined, sometimes hot-headed temperament of England's most successful captain for years. Clearly crucial to Nasser's development was his obsessive but loving father who relentlessly pushed his son as a cricketer. With some of his old man's steely determination rubbing off, Hussain's rise and superb career were as much due to his character as his talent as he was not as phenomenally naturally talented as some of his cricketing peers. What comes through in his well-titled autobiography is passion and controversy but also a great tactical brain and an acknowledgment of mistakes made.

Playing With Fire also includes evidence of the politics at play in international cricket with Chapter 1 piecing together the shameful way the England team were treated by the various cricket authorities and UK government over the controversial matches in Zimbabwe in the last World Cup. Nasser records his detailed version of events and provides the definitive account of his career in this brilliant sporting autobiography.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A VERY honest autobiography. 29 Oct 2004
One word sums this book up..."honest". However that would discredit how much more the book brings to the reader, in terms of interest and intrigue in the career of Nasser Hussain.
Nasser doesn't mince words and says exactly what he thinks, and how he felt about certain figures in cricket at the time of various disageements and turmoil through his career.
There is a wonderful insight on the behind the scenes trouble over the Zimbabwe affair, making any cricket fan feel shocked at how the England team were left to deal with the situation.
The book follows Nasser's career, right from his days as a kid in India to becoming England captain, through to his almost perfect final match at Lords.
It is a fascinating book for all cricket and sports fans in general. From reading this book you really get a feeling for the pressure and mindset needed to be a good England captain. Also some of Nasser's life springs up some surprises about the man. It is a chunky volume to read, with lots of great photos throughout the book, finishing with a detailed facts and figures glossary at the back; looking at Nasser's batting and fielding figures for Essex and England. Over all a very enjoyable book!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant. No other word needed
before I read this book I didn't really know much about Nasser Hussain or his career. I'm glad I have done now, it was a refreshing read where he doesn't hold back on anything he... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Rhys Antony Loxton
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
I loved his honesty. It was a fascinating read. The best cricket autobiography since Opening Up by Mike Atherton. I would recomend this book to all cricket fans.
Published 6 months ago by Andrew Roach
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting stuff from Nasser
Solid cricket book. Some insights into his personality, would've liked more on the cricket on the field rather than politics off it.
Published 9 months ago by generalmont
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read for a cricket fan
An excellent book for cricket fans. Does not pull punches and speaks from the heart from a cricketer who had many ups and downs,
and not afraid of controversy.
Published 15 months ago by M. A. Cramphorn
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ...but flawed
An interesting read from someone who did much to turn English cricket around whilst he was captain (working with Duncan Fletcher). Read more
Published 15 months ago by Gibsy hesperis
4.0 out of 5 stars Joined up Writing
Highly recommended. Bridging that gap between Athers and Vaughan, he started the re-building with Duncan "behind the Shades" Fletcher. Another 4 * read by the way. Read more
Published on 4 Oct 2009 by Ginola14
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the better volumes of its genre
A good autobiography produced at the right time (i.e., after he's retired, not when he's just turned 21). Read more
Published on 10 Feb 2009 by Andy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, true, honest reading
To be fair, loved it, Hussain gritty honest view of everyone he has met in the game, much better than most sports autobiographies coz he does'nt cosy around people he actually... Read more
Published on 18 Oct 2007 by Mr. C. H. Gilbert
4.0 out of 5 stars A great captain produces a great book.
Nasser Hussain's jouney through English cricket is perhaps more unique than any other. Starting his career at the beginning of Englands demise in 1989, he went on to play through a... Read more
Published on 4 Sep 2006 by J. DRYDEN
3.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and honest, but not greatly entertaining
The title of the book connotes Nasser's persona which has characterised his cricketing career as batsman and captain: he was assertive and aggressive and almost machiavellian. Read more
Published on 26 Sep 2005 by Nigel Collier
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