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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 2 February 2004
I,ve read a lot of books on cricket.This is the only one i read repeatedly.Hughes is an engaging bloke doing his analysts job on Channel 4 but this gives no indication as to his wealth of cricketing anecdotes or the warm humour he brings to them, for essentially this is a warm and very funny book.It is also in it,s understated way a scathing critique of the county set up and of English professional cricket in general.
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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Product Details

4.6 out of 5 stars
48
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