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4.2 out of 5 stars
Not Out First Ball
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2011
This is a great sporting read. If you love cricket, you will enjoy this book. The characters in this book are found in every village team in England. You can really relate to it. And it really shows that cricket (and being English) and not very good at doing either, comes naturally to most people. However the longevity of the bad amateur player is significant, as he is still playing at 50, when the sporty heroes from school days gave up the game with the end of teenagerdom. This book leads the way for people who have a desire to be involved but do not think they are good enough. The reality is that they are good enough, and they give the game the character that the best players can never do. Remember; it is about taking part and not necessarily winning all the time. Olympians can learn much from this perspective.
I recommend it to you!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2011
There may be dozens of books on sporting technique and cricket etiquette but none will come close to being this funny. Anyone who has played in a team or even tried to organise one will recognise the characters, their quirks and the sheer joy of playing cricket at a social level. Comparisons are not always helpful but having read and really enjoyed "Penguins Stopped Play" this is even better. A great read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2012
I'm not a cricketer, at best a cricket groupie, but even so I really liked this, and sniggered regularly. The good thing is that it's not totally about cricket. It's about friendship, hope, failure, sunny summer days, teamwork, teas, failure ... and the irrational optimism that each new spring kindles - all nicely set in an evocative cricketing context. The writing is very funny; occasionally lyrical, sometimes grumpy, but always witty and entertaining.

A good book for a non-cricketing spouse to give their other half, and be sure of genuine gratitude from the recipient
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2012
I was lucky enough to stumble across this book and after storming through it I thoroughly recommend it. Not only is it very, very funny but it is also a wonderful heartfelt message to something the authors love doing. I've since passed the book on to friends and family who don't know their long on's from their cover drives and they have all loved it. Doing something and enjoying it whilst being a bit rubbish is something many of us can identify with and it is summed up perfectly in this great book. Highly recommended!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2011
Not Out First Ball - I can honestly say this is one of, if not the, funniest cricketing memoir I have ever read. Every aspiring (or not) soul who has ever donned the whites to turn their arm for the village, works team or just a group of mates will identify with the collection of honest characters portrayed in this charming, sometimes moving, but always humorous take on our noble game.

If Matt Prior had read this before the recent Lords test, he would have realised that for 99.9% of us, the chance to be run out on such hallowed turf would be the pinnacle of our careers (certainly mine, although the chance to actually set off for a run in the first place, without hearing the orchestral symphony of my timbers being rearranged beforehand, would be a quantum leap)

For every like-minded cricketer, for everyone who has ever fallen in (and out of) love with the game, for everyone armchair spectator who mourns the loss of free-to-air coverage, for every passing observer on a Sunday afternoon the length and breadth of the collective cricketing nations - this is for you. I can guarantee you will laugh. You might even cry, but you will not find a better tribute to the game we call our own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2013
This was superb. As an avid armchair (and occasional) cricketer, this had the makings of something right up my street but while reading it I continually thought of numerous people it would be perfect for. It had me reading in queues, public transport and before bed - captivating and uplifting in equal measures.

While touching upon the beautiful nuances of Britain's finest creation in an effortlessly humorous way, the book recalls some wonderful anecdotes of tours to the continent, geographic and social stereotypes , and of course, the players long suffering wives.

I can't recommend this book enough
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2013
Quite simply the most enjoyable book I have read in ages. Not only is it uproariously funny but it is brilliantly written . Mr. Morgan-Grenville has the most wonderful use of the English language. Be it lamenting another very short innings, hilariously describing the Grenadier`s bowling or using cricket bats as humane killers, I have laughed out loud wherever I have been. And as for the French cricketing terminology, it would even put a smile on Gordon Brown`s dour visage. Read it now and brighten up your darkening winters evenings with unrestrained laughter. A joy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2013
First review I've ever written but I felt this really deserves to be widely read. Very funny, my wife thought I was suffocating because of laughing so much that I couldn't catch my breath. Yes, it helps if you like cricket but the English/French dictionary of cricket terms would make anyone laugh out loud; Howzat? - Ca va? Slip - Nelige, Maiden over - Jeune fille finis, square leg - jambe traditionelle and my personal favourite, He turned that a mile - il l'a tourne 1.609 kilometres.. buy it, read it and brighten your day
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 2011
I have read this in one sitting, late at night when I should have been attending to all things domestic. It is seriously funny, and is one of the few books to truly make me laugh out loud (which turned into a splutter whilst trying not to wake the rest of the house). For everyone who loves the game of cricket, but never were or will be good enough to grace Wisden or even your local league side (if you were ever that competitive), this is for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 May 2013
This is a splendid account of a cricket club whose successes can (almost) be counted on the fingers of one finger. It is funny, engaging, and even at times enlists your sympathy as their best laid plans go awry once again.
Even a non-cricket lover should enjoy this.
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