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Jim Laker: Nineteen for Ninety Hardcover – 10 May 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (10 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752439324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752439327
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 0.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 968,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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.

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Top Customer Reviews

THE extraordinary life of Jim Laker, perhaps England's greatest ever spin bowler, extends beyond those famous figures of 19-90. Off the field there was a lot of drama too.

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.
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A well-written book about the spin bowler, Jim Laker, who famously took 19 wickets in a test match against the Australians. It's well-written and gives the background of Laker's life as well as the matches played by him. A readable book about one of cricket's greatest bowlers. Recommended to any cricket lover.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x97e817d4) out of 5 stars 1 review
HASH(0x97ab4960) out of 5 stars An injustice to the subject 6 April 2009
By J. Michael Innes - Published on
Jim Laker was probably the greatest slow bowler in the history of English cricket. In 1956 he took 19 wickets in a test match against Australia, the arch and ancient rivals of England, out of a possible total of 20. While there are critics of the conditions under which the feat was accomplished, with accusations that the cricket ground on which the match was played had been treated by the ground keepers to benefit Laker's style of bowling, there is no doubt that he was able to use the conditions in a way that no other player on either side was able to do. No other bowler has come close to matching this achievement. Laker was renowned as a great bowler and thinker about the game of cricket, which in England matches baseball as the closest thing to the national game and psyche. Throughout his long career Laker achieved many other peaks of performance and he was as close to a genius in bowling as one could imagine.
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!
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