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  1. On the back of Ken’s best cricket book thread I thought it would be interesting to ask for recommendations for best sports book in general. I think some of the greatest writing ever done is about sport and I am always on the look out for recommendations. What I like is that it does not really matter what the sport is, if the writing is good it draws you in even if you are not a fan. So what is your favourite sports book?? On that note my nomination is “McIlvanney on Boxing” which is actually a collection of newspaper reports on big fights by the Sunday Times writer. Possibly the best sports reporter of all time some of the reports of fights are incredible but the chapter on the tragic last fight of the shy and introverted Welsh Bantamweight Jonney Owen is worth the price alone with McIlvanney concluding his heartfelt piece with the desperately sad and poignant summary... “Outside the ring he was an inaudible and almost invisible personality. Inside, he became astonishingly positive and self-assured. He seemed to be more at home there than anywhere else. It is his tragedy that he found himself articulate in such a dangerous language”.
  2. for cricket fans - best cricket books

    I’ve read a few of those and some are great (particularly enjoyed the Brearley one) but I must mention A Lot of Hard Yakka by Simon Hughes, it’s a fascinating insight into playing on the English county circuit in the late 70s and 80s. A real eye opener with some candid stories about some well known international players. It won the William Hill sports book of the year in 1997 and I would say almost all that win that award are well worth reading, it’s my sports book guide.
  3. The Peter James case is superb but I am really pissed off that the Robustos case I have from them does not have the cigar protector (The guardian?) included, I think the new one does. I cannot find anywhere in Europe to buy one, seriously annoying.
  4. Hello from Budapest

    If you have time calll at Vass shoes on Harris Koz (in the centre). The best value completely handmade shoes you can buy, anywhere!
  5. Matt Renshaw

    In future against anyone but Yorkshire please Matt.
  6. Matt Renshaw

    Matt Renshaw scores 100 on debut for Somerset v Worcestershire. 101 not out in a total of 202 all out on a real bowlers day. Replacing Bancroft as Somerset overseas player, good swap for Somerset !
  7. scandi-noir tv series

    The original Killing from Denmark was superb, as was the political one Borgen.
  8. I will be in Bahrain for a few days in a week or so and wondered if any one has recommendations for decent cigar bars? Also are the airport duty free options worth checking or should I bring my own?
  9. the cricket debacle

    Exactly this. What was the point? Who is advising him? He is also not helped by his personality, he comes over as just false. The whole thing very strange and seemed to serve no purpose at all (unless it covered some legal obligations ?)
  10. the cricket debacle

    Am I the only one who found the Warner "press conference" bizarre?
  11. the cricket debacle

    The greatest series I have ever seen, even better for me than the 2005 ashes. Botham, Willis and Brearley were incredible and all this against an Aussie team that featured some of the finest cricketers ever. As a 16 year old watching the contest between Botham and Lilllee remains possibly my most enduring sporting moment. Whats interesting is that everyone remembers these as Botham's Ashes and rightly so but focus on the games he had with the bat at Headingley and Old Trafford (the Manchester innings by far the better, the one at Leeds was really just slogging that came off). For me his 5-11 in 14 overs in the 4th test at Edgbaston was the key, Aus needed only around 160 in the 4th innings to win and take a 1-2 lead in the series. Botham's bowling that innings turned the game and the series. Why did Walters not get picked?
  12. the cricket debacle

    You are right Ken. When I think about it the captain of Aus has almost always been their best/most consistent player with as you say a couple of notable exceptions. In England we have followers this trend in the last couple of decades with some disasterous results, not least Flintoff and KP (also who can forget the debarcle that was Bothams captaincy admittedly against an unbeatable WI team). At club level I captained a very young (and very short) Root in his first senior game. I asked him to bowl one over near the end of their innings so our quicks could change ends and the clown batsman laughed out loud and made it clear at the top of his voice how pleased he would be to pick up some easy runs at his expense (not in these exact words I assure you as it was Yorkshire league cricket). Needless to say Rooty’s first ball in senior cricket took the Neanderthals middle stump out of the ground. The pleasure I took in escorting the knuckledragger back to the hutch whilst vocally pointing out the age and height of the “little prick of a schoolboy” who had bowled him will stay with me forever
  13. the cricket debacle

    I suspect the hobbit Warner couldn’t reach Broad. I do know that Rooty is as decent, respectful and courteous a guy as you could wish to meet and has been since he was a little nipper, Broad on the other hand .... Im sure that giving him the captaincy has affected his conversion rate. I don’t get the theory that the best player should be captain, look at some of the great captains who were not the teams superstar A positive from this must be that Renshaw will get another crack at opening (and without the poison dwarf as his partner). Still baffelled by why he was dropped, looks a natural test 1 or 2.
  14. the cricket debacle

    Good read Ken, I agree with almost all you have written. The underam incident is a completely different matter, indeed when I heard the press conference the other day I was astonished to hear Smith state that the recent incident "goes against the spirit of the game"!!! What an idiot, it goes against the laws of the sport not the spirit you tool, the underarm delivery was indeed against the spirit of the game not (at that time) the laws. For me this showed that Smith whilst complicit is also simply a fool, its not uncommon for sportsmen in this day and age to grow up in a cosseted world where ability is all that matters and basic intelligence, common decency, empathy and understanding of real life is neither taught, valued or encouraged, just look at the raft of idiot footballers in the premier league (particularly many of the current and former English ones, Gerrard/Carragher/Rooney/Vardy et al). What I find most astonishing is that so quickly it has become apparent that Warner is at the root of the problem. CA know that this individual is (and has been) a constant bad apple throughout his career, that he has been tolerated and indeed been honored with the vice captaincy smacks of a weak board pandering to a star player (of course this is not unique to CA). Why did no-one have the balls to stand up and say enough is enough before it got to this stage. I have mentioned before that I know well Joe Root and the incident in the bar in Birmingham with Warner was something I heard about from a very close and trusted source and Warner was well our of order and all knew it at the time and effectively did nothing, you reap what you sow. The state of the game in general is suffering from incompetent leadership at all board levels in each country not just in Australia, from the corrupt BCCI, the shambles that is the West Indian Board and not forgetting the ECB who's chase for the £'s has meant that only those with satellite subscriptions can watch any England live games and the scheduling of this coming summer meaning no test matches will be played from 5th June-1st August, the middle of the summer when all the kids are on holiday. When they complain that test cricket is dying on its arse and that grass roots participation from kids is at its lowest level then they have themselves to blame, shame on you ECB! I think the traditions, history and nature of cricket in general have helped to a greater extent shelter the game from the win at all costs attitude of some of the other professional sports, yes it is a tough, uncompromising contest between teams who are paid to win. There will always be problem players, borderline practices, straining of the rules and its naive to think otherwise, but with better and stronger leadership from the top of all countries who play the game and a willingness to put cricket before the individual from the authorities I think the sport I love can still flourish. In this respect I applaud the actions of CA in terms of the punishments they have dealt out and I hope that they reflect on the cause of this issue to avoid a repeat. I hope also that the other governing boards get their acts together and start to put cricket first before politics, power and money, I'm hopeful but not overly optimistic.
  15. australia's most shameful day

    Could not agree more Ken, spineless is the best description. I am also really disappointed with Lehmann, I know people who where involved with him during his time here at Yorkshire and they spoke so highly of him not just as a player but as man. All very sad and disappointing.

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