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The Tebbit Test: The Memoirs of a Cricketing Fanatic [Hardcover]

Icki Iqbal
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: DDKM (Dadu, Devi, Kaartu, Moochi) Publishing (1 Nov 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0957026609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957026605
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 15.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,515,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Icki Iqbal's day job was as an actuary and he has published several papers on financial and marketing themes. He has published two books. 'The Tebbit Test' is to a cricket lover what Fever Pitch was to football addicts. It was favourably reviewed by Lord Tebbit, David Frith and Khadim Baloch and by The Hindu, the leading English language daily in India.In April 2013 Wisden 2013 described it as 'utterly charming'. The review is reproduced verbatim below.

Now he has published The Incomplete Man. It was reviewed by Kirkus as follow:
Part coming-of-age tale, part dark-side-of-business expose, this novel chronicles an immigrant experience....Majid's ethical man-vs-corporate corruption battle makes for a compelling storyline.... A well-portrayed streak of emotional growth runs through this man's journey from bookish undergraduate to business leader.
Full review can be found at www.kirkus.com/book-review/icki-iqbal/the-incomplete-man.
Wisden's review of 'The Tebbit Test' said: Then again, Icki Iqbal's utterly charming The Tebbit Test: The Memoirs of a Cricketing Fanatic exposes the jingoism at the heart of this proposition. In 1990, Norman Tebbit - a former Tory cabinet minister- argued that ethnic minorities in Britain revealed their true nationality by the cricket team they supported. It's unlikely that you will have heard of Icki Iqbal so let me fill you in. He was born in 1945 in Pakistan to a well-off middle-class family, and has been obsessed with cricket ever since 1954, when the Pakistanis began to make their presence felt in international cricket. He moved to England in the mid-sixties, worked as hard as an actuary, and is now as British as anyone. He even supports England.
    But his journey hasn't been quite as straightforward as Tebbit might have liked. Almost every sentence of the book speaks of a man with a Pakistani soul. His enthusiasm for English cricket is partly based upon familiarity, but largely on disillusionment caused by corruption in the subcontinental game. Iqbal has become fed up with defending the indefensible. Had he not lost his faith in Pakistani cricket, there's little reason to believe he'd have transferred his allegiance.
    And why should he? Multiculturalism is one of Britain's great success stories. Partisanship is hardwired into every true cricket fan and shouldn't be readily transferrable. I have my own sliding scale of prejudice in international cricket. When England are playing I always support them. If not my pecking order runs Pakistan, West Indies, India, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa. I've no idea how many Tebbit Tests I fail along the way, but I'm really not bothered. In my world, the main test is just being passionate about cricket. If you are then you're welcome.

Product Description

Review

The devotion to cricket felt by Icki Iqbal, whose living has been earned as an actuary, is touchingly expressed in his self-published book.  His imagination was captured by Pakistan's historic 1954 victory at The Oval when he was a boy in Rawalpindi.  He plunged into cricket, playing, listening and buying books and magazines.  

 A life story interweaves with Test cricket's on-going history.  He ventures to England at nineteen, and thereafter any reader whose personal memories date back to the 1960s will find much to trigger nostalgia, whether cricket, pop music or English life generally.  His critical faculty is sharp ('There are only a handful of cricketers that I have detested and Boycott was one of them; Hanif another.  I hate selfishness in a team game . . . Brian Lara and Kevin Pietersen are two modern batsmen I dislike.')  He stands up where the majority have kept their heads down, stating that the West Indies reign of fast-bowling terror saw not only an appallingly slow over rate but cricket that was being used 'as a vehicle for vanquishing the white man'. 

Alongside his condemnation of Pakistan's cricket administration and the country's turbulent politics, there is much further wisdom.  'The attempt to eradicate inequality (gender, race, sexual orientation),' he writes, 'has run its course and some of the legislation should be peeled back.'  Of the TV commentators, Gower 'talks too much' and Botham 'is wasted space'.  The animated recall over 40 years bounces merrily along.  If you shared these years, the recall is entertaining.  If not, then here is an incisive spectator's history of that hectic era.

David Frith – Verdict: 8

Excerpts from a  review appeared in the Spring 2012 issue of The Cricket Statistician

 

 

   The Tebbit Test: Memoirs of a Cricketing Fanatic by Icki Iqbal charts Iqbal’s life from early childhood in Karachi through a distinguished actuarial career in the UK to his post retirement experience of Parkinson’s disease. From my perspective the passages of cricket serve well to punctuate everything from 1960s insurance offices to religion, politics and family life.

    At times rambling, Iqbal’s style is also humble, entertaining and engaging.  As a long-time London resident, I find it difficult to imagine how it feels to migrate to London from somewhere else, as hundreds of thousands have done. Iqbal gives a fascinating and humorous account of his personal experiences.

 

Excerpts from a review by Andrew D Smith which appeared in the July 2012 issue of The Actuary.


 

Icki Iqbal easily passes the Tebbit Test, because for a Pakistani who has become a British citizen, he is indubitably an England supporter in all forms of cricket, though he is not so blind a fan as to be a follower of Geoffrey Boycott the batsman.

Interestingly, Tebbit has written a foreword to Iqbal’s book on his love affair with cricket, The Tebbit Test: The Memoirs of a Cricketing Fanatic, and from it, it becomes obvious that the author has passed the politician’s cricket test.

Iqbal seems happily free of chauvinistic prejudice or dogma, both as a citizen of the world and as a cricket fanatic, though he has strong likes and dislikes, based on his belief in what is right or wrong in cricket. Add to a strong sense of fair play and sportsmanship, a prankster’s sense of humour, and an obvious love of the team man rather than the individualist, tinged by strong aesthetic preferences (David Gower and James Anderson, not Ian Botham or Graham Gooch, selfless Imtiaz Ahmed and elegant Majid Khan, not Hanif Mohammed the record-chaser), and you gain a fair idea of what makes Iqbal tick.

Iqbal is also obviously a man of peace and probity as we can see from his well-articulated views on India-Pakistan relations, and the need to clean up the game, which had to deal with the tragedy of Mohammad Amir (“the greatest since Sidney Barnes”). “It pains me when cricketers or the administrators claim victory when it is simply that they have not been caught.”

In summary, this self-published book is a delightful read, but could have actually produced two books — one on Iqbal’s love affair with cricket and another on his and his children’s lives as professionals in their adopted country of equal opportunities. Any hope of another literary effort by Iqbal is however to be tempered by knowledge that he is now suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Excerpts from a review which appeared last summer in The Hindu, India’s leading English language dally.


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cricketing business 13 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover
This is an autobiography of Icki Iqbal who came to England as a young man and rose to be a director of a large insurance company.
It is a blend of his business life and his obsession with cricket. His description of office life in the mid 60's will be very nostalgic for anyone who lived through that period.
It is very readable and has a positively Damascene conversion at the end.
Well worth buying if you are at all interested in cricket or want to know what office life was like some 40 years ago.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cricket & life & more...................... 30 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover
An interesting read if you want a perspective on Pakistan and test cricket or on life in the actuarial business. A more stimulating and eclectic and humorous mix and read if you want facts, views and opinions on cricketers, match fixing, Pakistan and its way of life, race and racism, and business.
Icki Iqbal as a new author writes in a disarmingly honest, strident and often controversial style and the final chapters and outcomes are strongly written.
The forewords are unusually full of insights.
I admit to being named in the book and knowing the author from business so the observations made are not surprising when you know Icki and his fascinating recollection of events, his honesty, and his willingness to take on challenges that have been placed in his personal, business and sporting life.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tebbit Test 12 Dec 2011
By kjwalla
Format:Hardcover
The Tebbit Test by Icki Iqbal is an amusing book written with an impish sense of fun and frivolity in the mould of a Brian Johnston.

The main theme is cricket neatly interwoven with anecdotes of the author's early childhood, his schooldays in Pakistan,
his migration to a successful business career in England.
It is an extremely readable book, with good pace. It compels the reader not to put the book down; because its "What-happens-next" urgency forces one to turn the page!
The author pokes fun at himself in a self-effacing endearing manner whether describing his failure as a toss-losing captain or as a umpire giving a batsman OUT! merely because the bowler shouted in his ear!

The cricket reporting is in the class of Jack Fingleton.
When the author describes Wes Hall coming in to bowl "with his shirt undone to the waist, flapping in the breeze"; one is reminded of Fingleton's copy of the famous tied Test of 1960, Australia v West Indies. "Wes Hall comes in; he fingers the crucifix on his sweaty chest, looks up to the heavens and begins his run up for the last ball...."
The Book depicts with great amusement the history of the Life Insurance sector from the author's carefree days in the 1960's to the more care-ridden years towards the turn of the century.
The book does have its serious side when commenting on the betting scandal and the author's disillusionment with Pakistani cricket.

The author, Icki Iqbal may have felt he does not pass the The Tebbit Test; but as the Foreword indicates, certainly gains favour with Norman Lord Tebbit himself!

Definitely a good book to purchase.

kjwalla
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cricket & life & more...................... 10 Dec 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
An interesting read if you want a perspective on Pakistan and test cricket or on life in the actuarial business. A more stimulating and eclectic and humorous mix and read if you want facts, views and opinions on cricketers, match fixing, Pakistan and its way of life, race and racism, and business.
Icki Iqbal as a new author writes in a disarmingly honest, strident and often controversial style and the final chapters and outcomes are strongly written.
The forewords are unusually full of insights.
I admit to being named in the book and knowing the author from business so the observations made are not surprising when you know Icki and his fascinating recollection of events, his honesty, and his willingness to take on challenges that have been placed in his personal, business and sporting life.
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