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Opening Up - My Autobiography Paperback – 12 May 2003
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All an autobiography should be ... as an inspiration and blueprint to young men with ambition in sport it is exemplary. (Michael Parkinson, Telegraph)
Mike Atherton signalled that Opening Up would be his own work - and it shows. It's solid, structured, phlegmatic, intelligent and gently humorous - like his batting and, one gleans, like the personality he for so long sheilded from the media. (Andrew Sheilds - Time Out)
Outstanding. His ghost-free memoir is beautifully written, filled with considered argument, modest judgement of his own career, excellent observational anecdote and great humour. A brilliant book. (Kate Battersby - Evening Standard)
Opening Up reveals what his inscrutable face and deadpan accent have concealed all these years. Generosity, compassion, honesty, modesty, versatility... Opening Up is the most important book to emerge from the Engalnd camp since Mike Brearley's The Art of Captaincy. Its also the first by an England captain since Brearley that wasn't ghosted. (Simon Hughes - Daily Telegraph)
As considered and thoughtful as the man himself, it affords the reader a wealth of insights into the modern game. (The Independent)
His cricketing memoir is a triumph of clear thinking, honest assessment and beautifully straightforward prose. It is rare enough for a sportsman to write his own account; rarer still for one to lay bare his own inadequacies with such objectivity. (The Sunday Times)
The book is outstanding. I commend this not only to avid cricket fans but to men and women who feel socially rejected. (Ian Wooldridge - Daily Mail)
Atherton has produced the best book by an England captain since Mike Brearley was redefining the role more than twenty years ago, and it was deservedly shortlisted for thr William Hill Sports Book of the Year. (Independent on Sunday)
[Opening Up] is a meeting with a most intriguing man: dogged decency, bloody-mindedness and a hefty taste for responsibility. (The Times)
Mike Atherton, England Captain and the most consistently successful cricketer of the last two decades, gives us the inside story of cricket in the biggest sports book of the year.See all Product description
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You will find extracts from Mike Atherton’s diary when he considers the dirt in the pocket affair, though this is a very clever spin on a matter that has not been satisfactorily resolved in my mind at least, I felt much is held back. For that matter there are a number of sections where I felt that things were being held back, which is a shame, but maybe Mike Atherton feels that he does not want to upset people in cricket. In an age where England cricket has central contracts, an outstanding coach in Duncan Fletcher and coaching facilities that rival any other cricketing nation, it is interesting to note that Mike Atherton recommended many of the measures that England now enjoy. Indeed Mike Atherton makes it clear that the only thing not accepted during his time were central contracts, but he did recommend them. Today we have much to learn from Mike Atherton, a batsman who could occupy crease for long periods of time and frustrate the opposition. Personally I enjoyed reading about Mike Atherton’s batting exploits and felt at times that I was right there beside Mike Atherton as he batted, which is a testament to his clear writing style. If you want an insight into 1990’s England cricket then this book should be top of your listing.
One can only imagine how his career would have looked had his back not given him such trouble, or had he been looked after better. We can only look back at the missed opportunity England had to adapt to the modern game at a much earlier juncture with some regret.
I had forgotten the whole Chairman Illingworth year before reading this , oh what fun that must have been !