Cutting Edge: My Autobiography Hardcover – 26 Jun 2003
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"An enthralling insight into the world of Javed Miandad and Pakistan cricket." -- Wisden Asia Cricket, July 2003
"An outspoken piece of writing." -- Books & Authors Supplement, Daily Dawn, July 6, 2003
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
To me, cricket is war. Just like a soldier defending the borders of his country, I was always focused on the battle in front of me. This is true of every game I have played in, feeling the intensity of battle whenever I was on the field. I always took care, though, not to carry this intensity off the field. After the game, our opponents became our friends and we enjoyed cordial relations. When we returned to the field of play, it was back to war.
I hated bowlers and batsmen who did well against me and my team. I loathed batsmen helping themselves to runs at our expense, and I simply despised bowlers who managed to take my wicket or did damage to our batting line-up. Poor performances and losses have been very hard for me to tolerate as I really hate losing. The hatred, however, has been limited to the field of play the theater of war and never carried off the field.
No bowler has ever been able to intimidate me. They have tried hard, pitching short, trying to stare me down, saying nasty things to try and upset my rhythm and my confidence, but I matched their aggression at every step, punch for punch. I refused to take any form of bowling intimidation lying down. I knew if I didnt respond this way, it was an automatic victory for the bowler. I never held back, for doing so would only have inspired the bowler further. Whenever a bowler got too fresh, I made it amply clear that I wasnt amused and that I was going to sort them out. Cricket is as much a mental game as a physical one and you can never let your opponent think they may have got the better of you.
Intimidatory verbal exchanges suit my personality. They help me concentrate and elevate my game. Players who tried to threaten and bully me probably didnt realize they were doing me a favor. Their attitude emboldened me and intensified my fighting spirit. When you make sharp comments and retorts, you are then forced to back it up with good performance because your honor is on the line. Ultimately this is what has made me a fighting player.
My headstrong attitude has also defined my relationship with the broadcast and print media. Many of the incidents I was involved in became controversial because of the way they were seized upon by the media. I dont really blame the media for this, as they have a job to do and need to be aggressive to do it well. Instead of fretting and fuming over the negative way I was being portrayed in the press, I used the press to try and advance my performance. Whenever I had done well, whatever praise appeared in the press was irrelevant to me and I never bothered with it, but whenever I saw myself being censured or criticized, I took it as a provocation and my fighting instincts automatically pushed into top gear.
The media have tended to cast me as a troublemaker and an instigator of disruption. I have never bothered with trying to contest this image, but I want to make it clear that this is not an accurate portrayal of my personality. I sometimes have a confrontational approach, but it is only because I refuse to have myself or my country belittled and castigated.
(Excerpted from Chapter 19 - Mr Controversy)
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Top Customer Reviews
My bigger problem with the book is Javed chose not to work with a professional ghost writer or sports writer, but rather a medical doctor, and I'm afraid it shows. I lost count of the number of times that the text refers forward (more in chapter 19...) or back (as I described in chapter 2...). It happens so much that it becomes really distracting, and it suggests that the ghostwriter has lost control of the material. Sometimes it's chronological, sometimes it's thematic, and it falls between two stools; Javed has a lot of interesting things to say, but there isn't a coherent flow. The last chapter emphasises this - a list of extra points that Javed wants to make but hasn't been able to fit into the text.