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Golden Boy: Kim Hughes and the bad old days of Australian cricket Paperback – 6 Aug 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: No Imprint (6 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741750679
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741750676
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,420,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The book you should have heard of ... This brilliant history of Australia captain Kim Hughes is your real must-read. (OBSERVER)

Book Description

Shedding new light on the 'club' of Lillee, Marsh and the Chappells, Golden Boy examines the most tumultuous era of Australian cricket through the lens of the story of flawed genius, Kim Hughes.

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Kim Hughes was one of my favourite batsmen when I was growing up and this book is a fascinating portrait of the man and what went on around him. Lillee and Marsh may have been great cricketers, but reading this book they come across as rather unsavoury characters who treated Hughes poorly.This book fills a gap nicely and I wish Kim Hughes all the best. Update. Heard Hughes on TMS at the Perth test. Really excellent interview. His 100 on Boxing Day 1981 v Windies at height of their fast bowling domination is one the the great test centuries.....catch it on you tube but for context look at the scores in the match.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As an Englishmen, I never understood the hype around Kim Hughes, an average test cricketer I would say. Reading this and some of the reviews, clearly he had a tough time, but he didn't help himself, I don't think. Yes, some of the Aussie big names at the time don't appear to have treated him well, but it seems to me he showed incredible arrogance at times and an inability to mould his game to adapt and succeed. Anyway, that is all covered in the book, which is well written and easy to read.
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Format: Paperback
This book has the major advantage of being written with hindsight and at a distance from the main protagonist. Suffice to say it is the antithesis of the very ordinary cricket (auto)biographies that grace the shelves with "X too fivefor, Y took threefor etc". Very well worth reading with some surprising revelations for those of us so far from Australia in the 1970s and 80s.
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Format: Paperback
In many ways Kim Hughes always struck me as a throwback to a bygone era. His cavalier style of batting, with little regard for the match situation, would not have been out of place in the Cardusian "Golden Era" prior to the First World War. With a landmark beckoning, Hughes often aimed to reach it with a towering six. Sometimes it came off spectacularly, but on others he perished and there can be few big name batsmen who have missed out so often in the 90s as Hughes had a tendency to do. His strokeplay was vivid, innovative and eye-catching, though his self-confessed tendency to decide on the stroke before the ball was delivered could also lead to his downfall. To do that when seeing it like a football is one thing; to do it on a regular basis is not the most sensible of approaches.

A Test average of just under 40 is indicative of talent, but not at the very highest level and a player with Hughes attitude - one similar to Michael Slater, Virender Sehwag, Chris Gayle and a few more - will always entertain and infuriate in equal measure. As he showed in the centenary Test at Lords, Hughes was like the little girl with the curl: when he was good, he was very, very good - though when he was bad...

I've read a good few books over the years that purported to be "explosive" and this is one of the few that genuinely lives up to the billing. A number of the main protagonists declined to be interviewed for it and the author, Christian Ryan, has done a remarkable job in piecing together the story of an Australian dressing room at a time of turmoil from those willing to talk. There was a lot going on of course - the Packer revolution, rebel tours and big name/big ego players was a recipe for disaster, unless overseen by a player of equable temperament and ability.
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Format: Paperback
Kim Hughes is known for many things. Being on the receiving end of Botham's Ashes. Having one of the least successful records as Australian captain. Breaking down in tears at his resignation press conference in 1984. This book tells the story of why these things happened.

The eldest son of a Western Australian headmaster, Hughes seems to have been born with an innate self-confidence, a trait encouraged by his parents when they noticed his sporting abilities. Kim himself saw the defining moment of his life as meeting his personal cricket coach, Frank Parry. The type of coach Parry was is encapsulated in an anecdote Ryan tells about a time Hughes got a duck in a club match. Parry phoned the disconsulate Hughes after the game and said "Your left elbow was right, your head was fantastic, your footwork was great. As a matter of fact it was the best made duck I've ever seen in my whole life. You were perfect. There's only you and Don Bradman".

Despite these blips, he eventually made the Western Australian state team. His immense talent was noted, as was noticed his propensity to decide on his shots before the ball was bowled, and his tendency to get out at the wrong time while trying to entertain the crowd. John Inverarity, his captain when Hughes made a sparklin debut century in the Sheffield Shield, criticised him for getting caught on the fence while going for a six just before lunch. This was nothing to what his teammates had in store for him in the future.

Dennis Lillee and Rodney Marsh were what you could call stereotypical Aussie cricketers. They drank, swore, sledged and insisted youngsters paid their dues. Kim Hughes, with his breezy talent and innate self-confidence, irritated the hell out of them.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the best available books on the world cricket scene.

The subject matter is Kim Hughes, one of the truly excellent natural players that Australia has produced.

It focuses on how the performance of a national sports team can be affected by certain archaic belief systems... and cruelled by Australia's tall poppy syndrome (fuelled by jealousy and personal prejudices).

It's well researched, with all of the major figures approached, and most of them interviewed. The emergence of World Series Cricket is dealt with expertly.

The author exhibits a remarkable turn of phrase and writing is always lively. Even the accounts of Hughes' matches as a youngster drive you to the edge of your seat!

I bought this book in Australia and have found it so satisfying that I wanted to tell the world! Well, the Amazon world, anyway...
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