A Lot of Hard Yakka: Triumph and Torment - A County Cricketer's Life Paperback – 2 Apr 1998
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You won't read a better inside story of cricket and the men who play it for a living. Vigorous, funny and full of insight from a gifted observer. It was a book waiting to be written and Simon Hughes has done it. (Michael Parkinson)
Terrific. (Harold Pinter)
A devastating account of English cricket and its shortcomings... The book describes the shocking lack of ambition, dedication, coaching and leadership in English cricket. (Mike Brearley, Observer)
A brilliant commentary on the life of a county cricketer. (Mike Selvey, Guardian)
You will never read a better book about the bizarre circus known as county cricket ... a very funny, often outrageous book. (Ian Wooldridge, Daily Mail)
Hughes may never have scaled the heights as a cricketer, but he has become a wonderful writer on the sport ... gaspingly candid ... One thing is clear from this book - he had a really good time. So will anyone sensible enough to read it. (Marcus Berkmann, Daily Telegraph)
Sharp and funny ... his book sails neatly between self-glorification and self-pity and lays bare the real truth of the athlete: a dark life of angst and self-doubt lit by sudden piercing shafts of transcendent adequacy. (Simon Barnes, The Times)
May be the first cricketer's autobiography ever to tell it like it is, from dressing-room to bedroom ... Hughes is rivetingly unguarded. (Tim de Lisle, Wisden Cricket Monthly)
As life-lived-through-sport, it is pure Hornby ... The book that cricket needed. (Simon Wilde, The Times)
Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the YearSee all Product description
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What makes this book particually likeable is that Hughes does,nt spare himself from his occasional bouts of withering scorn noting wryly that after a persistent no-ball problem he realised at last that he ,d better get his run up sorted out.Something of a must for any fast bowler i would say.The lack of profesionalism not to mention inate cowardice of many first class cricketers is a constant theme.So is the resemblance in so many ways to "normal" working lifes, the frustrations, the ennui and most noticeably the constant banter and p*** taking.
Hughes grasp of his fellow cricketers pecadiloes and idiosyncracities is perceptive and ball bouncingly funny.Gattings prodigous appetite,Edmonds intellectual snobbery,Daniels eye for the ladies, Bothams monstrous self confidence are all captured superbly but he,s as generous with praise as he is with disdain and alway gives a balanced view on everyone he writes about.
Some of the anecdotes are priceless.Brealey letting rip with a fearsome expletetive filled volley over the heads of M.C.C. members at Lords,Tufnells less than impressive entrance when coming out to bat,Emburey,s hilarious reply to an innocent enquiry as to the state of his back and numerous accounts of the banter out in the middle and in the dressing room.Great stuff.
"A lot of hard Yakka" is a refreshing change from the dry ghost written accounts of high profile careers cricketers usually churn out.It,s candid ,balanced wildly entertaining and i,ll say it again snot sprayingly funny.Now thats not bad for any book let alone one about cricket.
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