Jim Laker: Nineteen for Ninety Hardcover – 10 May 2006
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About the Author
Brian Scovell is currently a freelance journalist, but has written for the Daily Mail, Evening Standard and Sunday Telegraph on both football and cricket for more than forty years. He has written 18 sports book in the past, including bestsellers on Dickie Bird, Trevor Brooking and Lawrie McMenemy.
Top Customer Reviews
Surrey and then Essex hero Laker did the near impossible -- he bowled the Aussies out at Old Trafford in 1956 with 9-37 in the first innings and the 10-53 in the next for England.
No other bowler has taken more than 17 wickets in a first class match, Laker did it in a Test match.
His 10-53 alone in the second innings has never been matched. Although other bowlers have taken 10 wickets, they have leaked more runs and so haven't got near to Laker's remarkable achievement.
Yet Scovell's look at Laker's life reveals more than a very talented spin king.
If ever there was a book crying out to be made into a film, this is it.
The drama starts early on with Laker's father walking out on his family when the young Jim was only two. The two would eventually be reunited.
A Yorkshireman turned Surrey and then England legend, Laker courted controversy in the 1960s when he was stripped of his MCC and Surrey membership for being too outspoken over a particular Minister of Defence, Lord Monkton's failure to thank him for his years of service at Surrey, of which Monkton was President.
But you can't keep a good man down and Laker's toughness saw him recreate himself as a respected television commentator alongside the likes of Richie Benaud.
Yet even when he was still playing, Laker stood out. He formed a deadly spin attack with Tony Lock as Surrey won the County Championship for seven consecutive seasons.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book, which should have been a testament to his ability and authority, is quite dreadful. The author, while occasionally writing about Laker and his accomplishments, repeatedly meanders into long diversions on topics only marginally related to the story, associations which create in the reader a sense of approaching dementia in the author's mind. The book appears to have been written in isolated snatches of time, with little or no continuity, no editing and no sense of telling the life of a person. I bought the book on the basis of the topic, hoping to see a critical and sober account of a life in cricket as affected by the actor's life itself. What a mistake. The publishers' editors should have been fired for letting this through.
Beware buying books solely on the basis of the topic and its importance! Read a few pages before buying! Caveat emptor! applies as always. Anyone thinking about buying this book, you have been warned!