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Customer Review

on 26 September 2002
From the early days as a Manchester schoolboy, to his sudden rise to England's cricket captain, Mike Atherton's book captures the mixture of frustration and elation at the heart of English cricket.
Atherton was captain during the dodgy nineties, when England suffered a long spell in the doldrums of international cricket. His autobiography highlights Atherton's relationship with the selectors - notably Ray Illingworth; his teammates - there is one glorious photograph of Nasser Hussain as a fifteen year old with fantastic hair!; and gives a detailed insight into how it felt to be thrust at the helm without a great deal of experience. Atherton describes his input into team selection (or lack of it), the infamous ball-tampering affair, and his tremendous innings against Allan Donald, where he knew he was out, but did not walk. This incident is described so precisely, that the atmosphere is almost palpable.
If you are expecting an expletive filled, ghost written tome, you will be disappointed. These are Atherton's thoughts, eloquently penned entirely by the man himself. If you want juicy personal stories about sexual conquests, don't buy it. He is very reticent about his private life, and doesn't even mention his new baby.
This is a book for die hard cricket fans, and for lovers of sport in general, who want to see behind the scenes; to feel what it was like to be at the centre of English cricket. I would also recommend it to those with a fledgling interest in the game, as the passionate accounts of matches give such a true feeling of what is must have felt like to stand at the crease, under the scrutiny of thousands of spectators.
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