Sunday, March 27, 2011

The last of the Winter Reads.

The sun is starting to win the battle against the clouds into my front room which can only mean that the days shall given extra time and the season is only a few weeks away. So with a flurry of reading I have come across my final two winter reads for the off-season.

The summer rarely brings an end to the turning of pages, but these books tend to be of the statistical variety rather than of the stories of great series and moments in history.

My first review is of the IMRAN KHAN by Christopher Sandford, I must admit that this book was plucked from a discount counter only catching my eye on by the staring Imran on the cover and my memory casting itself back to 1992, the year I actually started to take an interest in the sport. As a 10 year old growing up in an English household in the sprawling Northern suburbs of Melbourne, England were favourites to win the World Cup, the first of its kind played in the colourful pyjamas’ that we are now all common with as standard attire.

Following the fortunes of the English side around the lounge room television with my extended Dorset bred family I watched the Pakistani’s take victory from England. Imran Khan to me stood out as beacon of power, grace and brilliance as he led them to an unlikely victory at the MCG. I only knew the much needed stories of his love life and those tails of 1992.

As I opened the pages of this biography, I found this to be more a collection of notes taken from other biographies. Christopher Sandford seems to have read everyone else’s views and placed his own amongst them. Imran is intriguing character painted as crickets playboy of the 70’s his love life is written length of his trips to London and his love of all the beautiful women and if I was a lover of the tabloid types I would have found the lengthen moments of this time interesting, but in truth it just dragged out.

Much of this biography talks of the man outside of the ropes and his early political ambitions within his manoeuvring to gain control and power among the Pakistan Cricket Board. As a direct reference point to Imran not much is left out by Sandford, including the collection of series statists from almost unknown cigarette sponsored one-day series played in Pakistan/India. Imran’s early days are well research as his rise though the Warwickshire ranks and Oxford elite. The only fault I found with this book is its dragging need to go in-depth of series nor I or many others knew were happening and on the sub-continent, and yet the thin coverage of his greatest moment in the World Cup victory and the tournament itself.

Having read much about Imran in past books, some of these featured in the Winter Read reviews. I felt that Sandford left the great image of Imran holding the World Cup on the MCG as a passing moment rather that a timeless achievement.

This book is the definitive collection on all things Imran Khan including his move into Pakistan politics and building of his Cancer Hospital, and for those who wish to get an outsiders view on a private man I would suggest this read. If you are breezing reader who enjoys a story as much on the romance of the sport as its characters I advise you look to else ware.

My final review of those books we use to keep the cricket fires burning can best be described as a nightstand leveller, a book that is a good little page turner for those times before we slip into our dream worlds of taking wickets for our prospective countries on sun soaked days. The World According to Bumble by David Lloyd, is a collection of short stories in no particular order and are the musings of the better known Sky Sports commentator.

David is known as the joker in the pack among the team Sky’s television troupe, and his thoughts on all things cricket, pubs, county championship and what makes a good cricketer are as detailed as a brown painted wall.

I’m sure David Lloyd has a vast amount of cricketing knowledge from his days as an English player and coach, and in many ways he has seen the game from all its angles even behind the stumps and sat at a press conference, yet this book seems to jump from jokes of players in dressing rooms (Freddie Flintoff and cup of ice story worth a read) to the improvement of the Lancashire Leagues don’t seem to sit as well side by side in this large script short chaptered book.

Despite the lack of meat in the read this is the perfect book for the new found lover of cricket, and would make for a good addition to the cricketing bag for the season to be read in short bursts while either waiting to bat or in those times of an early exit from the field. I would look forward in anticipation of a serious book from David Lloyd as what he does cover briefly could do with further detail in a book all to itself.

Make this your final read before the season and prepare your mind for the laughs to come from the misfortune of teammates or giggles of the pranks to come of a season in the sun.

No comments:

Post a Comment