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Yakking Around the World: A Cricketer's Quest for Love and Utopia [Hardcover]

Simon Hughes
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Jun 2000
Motivated by a hatred of English winters, professional cricketer Simon Hughes embarked on a worldwide quest to play a season in each of the major cricketing nations. This memoir recounts these years, with anecdotes and observations on topics ranging from sporting experiences to life abroad.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd; First Edition edition (5 Jun 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684866374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684866376
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 245,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

As a cricketer Simon Hughes enjoyed not immoderate success as a bowler with a championship-winning Middlesex side. As a writer, his previous effort A Lot of Hard Yakka, a tale of the life of an English county cricketer, won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award in 1997.

Nowadays, Hughes can be found filling the role of "The Analyst" on Channel 4's test match coverage. Clearly a man of more than one talent, Hughes has now chronicled his travels around the cricketing globe as player and journalist. And as a success, Yakking Around The World stands comfortably amongst his other achievements. Having visited every test-cricket-playing nation, Hughes narrates his odyssey in whites with much aplomb. From London to Lahore via the Leewards, and many other exotic locations, he spices his recollections with memories of the local people and hospitality, with most specific and humorous reference to varying degrees of success with the native womenfolk. Cricket has often been twinned with travel writing, but rarely can it have been married with stories of red-blooded sexual desire! Hughes shakes all three into a splendidly funny cocktail and comes up with a winner. --Trevor Crowe

From the Publisher

Discovering the world on and off the wicket
Discovering the world on and off the wicket
In 1979 at the end of Simon Hughes first Summer as a professional cricketer, he realised he faced a winter without a job, sun, girlfriend or cricket. For the next eleven years he went in search of a hotter, happier world where the girls were game and the pitches were perfect – he was looking for sun, seam and sex.

Four continents, 28 countries, 34 towns (from Colombo and Durban, to Wanneroo, Woolloomooloo, and even Whakapapa) and 58 different addresses later, playing for a total of 41 different teams, he looks back at the joys, disasters, and the unpredictable adventures he faced both on and off the field.

YAKKING AROUND THE WORLD is an alternative travel guide to the world’s faraway places, by a man who really lived in some of the world’s most exotic locations. Along the way Simon tries to explain some of the world’s greatest mysteries: Why are New Zealanders always stoned? Why are Australians so self-satisfied? Why do South Africans sound like they’ve wired their jaws up? And how do West Indians manage to walk so slow and bowl so fast?

As Simon tries to find his perfect utopia of fun people, great beaches, excellent cricket and beautiful women he learns about himself and how the English are seen around the world, mixes with cricket greats such as Imran Khan, Gatting and Defreitas, and tries to explain why, when England gave cricket to the world, is everyone else so much better at it than us?

YAKKING AROUND THE WORLD is the tale of one man’s seeing the world, growing up, settling down and still managing to miss the ball.

Simon Hughes is a presenter on Channel 4’s cricket was a professional cricketer for Middlesex (1980-91) and Durham (1992-93). He won four county championship medals and five one-day trophies and took over 750 wickets. Since retiring from cricket he has become a well-known sports writer for The Independent, Daily Telegraph, The Cricketer and G.Q. (where he is a commissioning editor). He is a reporter and ‘The Analyst’ for Channel 4’s Test Match coverage and a commentator for the 1999 World Cup. His earlier best-selling A LOT OF HARD YAKKA: A Cricketer’s Life won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cricket biography without the cucumber sandwiches 26 April 2005
By Darren Simons TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Cricket... that fine game you either love or hate. If you hate it, you are probably not reading this review. If you love it, you may well remember Simon Hughes as a county cricketer (mostly at Middlesex) who has since become a TV commentator analysing batsmen and bowlers during a game.
Yakking Around the World is Hughes account of what it's like to be a county cricketer, what you can do in the English winter (ie. when there's no cricket to play at home) and basically how to get through the career. Rather than focussing too much on the cricket, Hughes describes all the places he has had the chance to play cricket and using his own calculation figures out which place is best... understandably this complex calculation is made up of what he thinks of the people, the cricket, the beaches, but most of all how often he got laid!
I found this book to be a great read, very entertaining, not too bogged down in cricket. This was the first book I read by the author but I will certainly be reading others. His style of writing is very relaxed, not at all in-your-face, and very readable. One of those books that you read on the train and you suddenly burst out laughing much to everyone's amusement.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aussies will not be best pleased! 20 Feb 2002
By Hugh Jenkins VINE VOICE
Another gem from Simon Hughes. It was great to see somebody willing to speak honestly about his time in other countries (and without political correctness). In particular, Australians should be very wary of reading this book as they come in for some well aimed observation of their character, and as the author himself points out, despite the many great things that country has to offer theyquickly take umbrage at any outsiders attempt to "Take the Mickey". I can speak with some authority on that subject.
Likewise, South Africans come in for a real serve, whilst Kiwis will be pleasantly surprised.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars genuinely sharp and funny 3 May 2001
Not too many books make me laugh out loud but Simon Hughes wonderful observations and sharp humour certainly succeeded. Australians and South africans should tread carefully. The author's opinions of them are pretty mixed to say the least, which is refreshing and probably in line with more observers than these over proud countries probably appreciate. But there is a lot more too it than that. Serious observations of the great game mixed with a woody allenesque love life and nuerosises and more than a few strange adventures contribute to a fantastic read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for sports fans! 17 Jun 2000
By A Customer
I like cricket, but wouldn't consider myself a real fan, but this book is less about cricket, more about travel and life. Simon Hughes writes like Bill Bryson meeting Nick Hornby, he spent years living in Oz, India, South Africa anywhere he could play cricket and really gets under the skin of these places (his observations about New Zealand are painfully true.) And he writes about life, love, learning how to grow out of your dreams. He's so honest about how men can be so bad at relationships, or misunderstanding what women want and say, but he's never mean about his failed relationships. In fact women could probably learn alot about men from this book, the guys love of sports, their impossible dreams and inability to express themselves. A perfect Summer read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is a highly-entertaining, informative and well-written book which I just sat down and read from beginning to end. Whilst travelling to exotic, far-away places to play cricket may sound an enviable life-style for a young man, Simon brilliantly portrays the distinctly unglamorous aspects of this sporting life, as well as examining in some detail and with sometimes brutal honesty the travails of a young man yearning for female companionship. If I have a crticism, it is only that in trying to ensure that he doesn't paint himself as all-conquering macho-man, he is sometimes almost too self-effacing. Honest, entertaining and thoroughly worth buying. I ended up buying four copies for friends - the ideal present to lighten up Christmas !
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