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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2011
I start from a position of bias having read and thoroughly enjoyed David Tossell's previous books. However, I defy any true cricket lover not to be captivated by a book about a man who made the word 'grovel' famous. Tony Greig has charisma to spare and a cynic might say it's difficult to write a poor book about such an interesting subject. But Tossell has done far more than could reasonably be expected. It is an absorbing read containing fascinating interviews with those who knew Greig well. I do not want to give too much away but in the mass market that is cricket books this is up there with the best.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2011
Is Tony Greig one of the most underrated England cricketers of the post war period (as Mike Atherton is quoted as saying on the back of this book) or was he even more important than that? He was by no means the first foreign born player to play for England but he undoubtedly brought some much needed arrogance and swagger to the 70s team. His reputation was of course sullied by the Packer affair but one has almost forgotten the derisory compensation which players received for representing their country until the Packer players made their stance. There is a view that things were bound to change any way but the fact was that the cricketing authorities around the world were remarkably insensitive to the changing world and it needed somebody to take a stand.

David Tossell is right to reappraise Greig's contribution to English cricket. His stats compare well to both Botham and Flintoff and, the 1976 West Indies series aside, he had an okay captaincy record. He was clearly someone that his team respected greatly as a captain (even if some of his opposition captains such as Ian Chappell did not.

This book gives a balanced account of Greig and an entertaining overview of cricket in the seventies (including World Series is Cricket). I thought some of the rock analogies at the start of the book (Greig is equated to David Bowie's Starman and then Malcolm Maclaren) but this is dropped once the story telling starts. This is an an unauthorised bio but the author has done his research well with good access to England and Sussex team mates as well as opposition players. The landmark moments such as the Kallicharan run out and the "grovel" quote are well covered. All in all a very good and entertaining read.

The book achieves its aim. Greig does deserve more credit than he has received over the past 30 years. It seems unlikely that he will ever be welcomed back into the establishment but for the five years he served England as a player (two as captain) and the legacy he left modern day cricketers by pursuing the Packer venture, he deserves better.
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on 15 May 2012
This book isn't as detailed as perhaps it could be, but is worth a look for the cricket fan.

It is very good on the World Series Cricket era and in terms of Greig's involvement with Packer in terms of that. This was before my time and I learnt quite a bit from it. It's also worth reading in terms of largely succesfully making the point that Greig's record as an all rounder stands up to Flintoff if not the peerless (from an England rather than world point of view) Botham.

As I say it does lack a bit of detail, especially in terms of the infamous 1976 WIndies tour and Greig's (at best) very unfortunate comments about making them "grovel" (followed shortly thereafter by the WIndies thrashing us). It maybe is a little generous (as it is I think in practice a semi authorised biography in terms of looking at Grieg's Saffa background in terms of those comments. But he comes across on the whole as a generous decent man and very good if not great cricketer and it's worth reading.
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on 30 December 2012
I found this a compelling read about a subject that certainly polarised opinions some 35 years ago. Sadly, my reading of the book coincided with Greig's untimely death at the relatively young age of 66, with children of 12 and 10 from his second marriage. Despite the passing of the years my overriding memories of Greig are of a youthful, blonde gladiator in the early 1970s when I was a teenager. This book successfully recaptures the flavour of that era. If the book had a few extra pages about what relocating to Australia and turning his back on the UK meant and felt like for him as a person and for his family at that time, I'd have given the book 5 stars. Tony Greig: A Reappraisal of English Cricket's Most Controversial Captain
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on 12 September 2013
Tony did the unthinkable or so it seemed at the time. Great book well written and very interesting to read his story, his figures stand up showing what an excellent all rounder he was. A competitive individual in and out of Cricket, incredible hard worker, and you will be persuaded that he has had a raw deal, not given the credit he deserves as an England cricketer on the back of his Packer exile.
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on 16 July 2014
I guess that the reappraisal wasn't a reflection of the man and his impact on the game after his death. It still left some things uncovered, mainly around how he felt about the modern game and how he had a indirect impact on the creation of T20 cricket.
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on 14 January 2013
A wonderful reminder of the blast of fresh air that Tony Greig brought against the cricketing establishment of the 1970s - as well as those fabulous partnerships with Alan Knott. But beware - the establishment may not have changed as much as you think!
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on 8 January 2013
Excellent book,hard to put down.cruelly and harshly treated,greigs former colleagues comments show what an honourable and selfless man he was.
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on 1 January 2015
Very good book of a largely forgotten man. Great player. Was part of the great change in cricket that was well overdue.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2012
The author's seminal book on the '76 Windies tour (one of the finest cricket books of the past 20 years in my view - and I've read 100's) was my introduction to his work.

I have since read this, the Malcolm Allison book, his book on the 1998 England youngster's World Cup win and their cricket careers thereafter and am really looking forward to his Derek Doogan biog.

The Greig book was excellent and I read it over two days at a soggy Butlins holiday in Skegness with the kids last autumn (I was in need of a bit of culture). All of the current players in the England team should read this book. Greig took a lot of flak over the Packer affair at the time that ended his career - this book gives a well rounded retrospective view.

Essential reading for sports fans of a certain age who can still see the big, blond South African whirling his arms as he stode out to bat with his England cap, sleeves rolled to the elbow, his 'mitten' St Peter Gloves and St Peter 'flatback' bat.
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