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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!!!!
As an avid test match cricket fan this book brings the Ashes to life. Reading about some of the earlier tests has fascinated me. This book is a must for any cricket fan!!!!
Published 14 months ago by Russell Milsom

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent, but feels like a rush job
I always enjoy watching Simon Hughes on TV, as I'm sure do most cricket fans, as I find him to be insightful and balanced, frequently pinpointing succinctly key aspects of a match, but never speaking down to the audience. I found his book 'A Lot of Hard Yakka' to be quite superb, and a deserving winner of the William Hill prize.

I am sorry to say that this book...
Published 1 month ago by John Baird


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!!!!, 8 July 2013
This review is from: Cricket's Greatest Rivalry: A History of the Ashes in 10 Matches (Hardcover)
As an avid test match cricket fan this book brings the Ashes to life. Reading about some of the earlier tests has fascinated me. This book is a must for any cricket fan!!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Like Being There, 25 Jun 2013
By 
G. S. Perry (Gosport, Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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With his always intelligent views and amazing ability to transport you back to past Ashes battles with his well chosen words this taster from one of TV's top sports pundits is the perfect aperitif to what every Englishman hopes will be a successful season
Well done Mr Hughes...now can someone buy me this for Xmas please?
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3.0 out of 5 stars Decent, but feels like a rush job, 4 Aug 2014
I always enjoy watching Simon Hughes on TV, as I'm sure do most cricket fans, as I find him to be insightful and balanced, frequently pinpointing succinctly key aspects of a match, but never speaking down to the audience. I found his book 'A Lot of Hard Yakka' to be quite superb, and a deserving winner of the William Hill prize.

I am sorry to say that this book disappointed me a little. It tells a great story of course, but I think the book has been undermined by a number of things. It does feel like a rush job, dictated in some haste to follow the back to back Ashes series. Like 'Yakking All Over the World' there is far too much weak humour in there. Why? One doesn't want a book to be overly serious but jokes in a book like this only work if they are genuinely funny. In contrast to his very measured TV personae, Hughes the author sometimes seems to give too much free rein to his personal biases. I think he is capable of much better than this. I am inclined to blame his editors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for cricket lovers, 16 Aug 2013
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Recommend for any cricket lover. Well written and researched and very readable. I really enjoyed it on holiday but would be a good read anywhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars reviw crickets greatest rivally., 28 July 2013
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book well written and very interesting content as expected would recommend to any cricket fan interested in England Aussie rivalry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 16 July 2013
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With ashes fever gripping the nation do yourselves a favour and read this book as it looks back on the memorable games from yesteryear. Well written and entertaining.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Another ill-prepared Pommie tour, 4 Jan 2014
By 
Udeen (Northumberland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cricket's Greatest Rivalry: A History of the Ashes in 10 Matches (Hardcover)
I think of Simon Hughes as The Analyst; the man who, a decade ago, raised the bar of cricket comment with his insightful contributions for Channel 4. Who better to write a book about the great Ashes rivalry?

First the plaudits. Hughes deserves credit for his take on the 1933 'bodyline' tour. Here was one occasion when an England tour downunder was carefully planned and brilliantly executed. How have Jardine and Larwood ended up being treated as the villains of the piece? Beats me. As Hughes says: "Australians like to refer to the English as 'whingeing Poms', but on this occasion it was the Aussies who were whingeing." Maybe history has been cruel because, in the face of this whingeing, the English establishment backed down and refused to back their cricketers. Ever since, English cricket has appeared a little uneasy about exploring how we might make winning a habit.

Hughes' take on 'bodyline' notwithstanding, I found 'Cricket's Greatest Rivalry' a massive disappointment. It is hard to understand how such a thoughtful and engaging man could have written such an ill-considered book on a subject he obviously cares about a great deal. I can see two possibilities: Hughes is not the most competent writer; and/or the book was rushed to publication in order to appear before the back-to-back Ashes series of 2013-14.

For an ex-cricketer to have limitations as a writer doesn't have to be an insurmountable problem. This book is riddled with awkward passages and the approximate use of punctuation. Bizarrely, there's not even a consistent approach to spacings between words, heightening the impression that this was a rush-job. Does this matter? It wouldn't if the publisher, Cassell Illustrated, employed competent proof-readers. If this book is anything to go by, they don't.

The sloppiness of the writing is exacerbated by Hughes' surprisingly superficial take. Given that he has been close to the action during recent series, where are all those trademark piercing insights? In the case of more distant series, diligent research fills the gaps. Did Hughes do his homework in this regard? My suspicion that he did not is based on the fact that he told me very little that I have not already read elsewhere. How many times do I have to be told that had the 'ball of the century' been a bun it wouldn't have passed Mike Gatting's defences?

To me, one of the biggest weaknesses of Hughes' style is his self-conscious use of humour. He seems hell-bent on squeezing in lame, laddish jokes at every turn. Often, lacking some pearl of wisdom from one of the protagonists, he opts instead for a comment from someone in the crowd. Here's an example from the last chapter, of an insult hurled at Ricky Ponting by an Australian fan during the 2010-11 series when he placed a fielder at short mid-on: "Oh very good, Punter! The last time someone took a catch there was 1921!' Good grief.

How ironic that I should finish this book in bed this morning and then go to check the test score at Sydney: Australia 326 and 140-4; England 155. Which brings me to my final point. 'Cricket's Greatest Rivalry' ends thus: "... now Cook is chartering new waters as England captain, the story can begin all over again. Excited?"

Actually, no. I've never felt less excited about the England cricket team. Timing is everything, and Hughes got his spectacularly wrong. But how could he have foreseen Cook and England's spectacular demise? Not easy, I know, but that's his job. He is The Analyst after all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Even non cricketers will love this book, 29 Jun 2014
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One of the best cricketing books to enjoy
Candid humorous lucid
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5.0 out of 5 stars ChristmasGift, 25 May 2014
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This review is from: Cricket's Greatest Rivalry: A History of the Ashes in 10 Matches (Hardcover)
I purchased it online as my christmas gift for my fiance who lives 6000 miles away. He loves the humour and the content. He is a sports person and he loves cricket, he really does and it I can consider this as one of the best gifts I have ever gave to him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a present for Christmas., 29 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Cricket's Greatest Rivalry: A History of the Ashes in 10 Matches (Hardcover)
This book was very well received by my friend. A lover of cricket and history I couldn't go wrong with this one.
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