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A lot of leather has 'plunk-plicked' against willow since cricket was first played on the village greens of Olde England, but this doughty little book heroically manages to capture the true essence of the noble ball game in just 100 run-grabbing moments (plus a few extras for overthrows). This is the story of cricket as it has never been told before: a well tossed-up compilation of surreal match reports, spoof correspondence and quirky cartoons. From a Great Victorian refusing to walk (even though his bails have been knocked off by the bowler) to modern-day sledgers playing floodlit pyjama cricket, the game's towering achievements, hilarious happenings and ludicrous coincidences are entertainingly recalled. The book's title says it all: which other sport would have Silly positions in the field? For those who don't know, silly mid-off (facing the batsman) & silly mid-on (behind him) field within a couple of metres of the man at the crease as he flails at the ball, delivered at 140kmh, using a 1kg wooden bat.
'Part travelogue, part memoir and wholly engaging' Daily Mail Bestselling author and hugely popular commentator David 'Bumble' Lloyd takes the reader on an unmissable and hilarious tour of the cricketing world as he searches for the perfect pint. After more than 50 years involved with cricket as a player, international, umpire, coach and now commentator, David Lloyd has travelled the world. It's all a long way from his childhood, growing up in a terraced house in post-war Accrington, Lancashire. But cricket has taken him all over the globe, and he has experienced everything from excruciating agony Down Under to the Bollywood glamour of the IPL - he's even risked it all to cross the Pennines into Yorkshire. In Around the World in 80 Pints, Bumble relives some of the most exciting and remarkable periods in his life, showing how his travels have opened up new and exciting avenues for him. The book is packed full of brilliant stories from famous Ashes matches and Roses clashes, sharing the commentary box with Ian Botham and Shane Warne, and much else besides - all told in his idiosyncratic style that has won him so many fans the world over. His previous autobiography, Last in the Tin Bath, was a huge bestseller, and this one is sure to appeal to anyone who shares Bumble's unquenchable love for cricket - and life!
A new edition of Rob Eastaway's classic guide to the rules of cricket. Cricket is one of the world's most popular sports, yet for the uninitiated, its peculiar laws and customs are a mystery. What is a 'silly mid off' and a 'long leg'? How can you be 'lbw'? And how can a match last for five days and still end up as a draw? In this fully updated edition of the classic guide, Rob Eastaway demystifies the jargon and answers the questions you've always wanted to ask. It's also a timely reminder that for the true cricket lover, the game can be absorbing and exciting even when the ball isn't being smashed for six.
It's Britain's hottest summer since 1976 and English cricket is in a sweat of transformation. The public is no longer interested in County Championship games, traditional touchstone of the calendar. Fans prefer a bit of flash, bang, wallop - or so the experts tell us. Where though does that leave the twenty minor counties - strung out from Northumberland to Norfolk to Cornwall - who for the past one hundred and twenty-five years have fancied themselves the stepping-stone between regional club and first class county competitions? A level of the game seen as either an ex-professionals' graveyard or the last refuge of blazered old duffers is in a struggle for its very existence. And come 2020, the venerable Minor Counties Championship will indeed be blown away, like dandelion seeds on the breeze, replaced by the newly-branded and 'more marketable' National Counties Championship. At least that was the plan. In 2018, no-one has yet heard of Covid-19. What they do know is that this threat to their competition is existential and the modernisers at Lord's are to blame, far more interested in such innovations as a proposed new 'Hundred' than bolstering that which has stood the test of time. Granted full access to committee and squad, Tony Hannan, author of Underdogs - A Year in the Life of a Rugby League Town, spent a season with Cumberland CCC amid the lakes, fells and mountains of Cumbria. And as might have been expected in such dramatic terrain, he tells a story full of ups and downs - complete with one or two surprises. Skippered by former Durham player Gary Pratt - who as substitute fielder ran out Australia captain Ricky Ponting during the 2005 Ashes - Cumberland's expenses-only nomads are nevertheless just one important thread in a yarn stretching well beyond the boundaries of Cumbria. The Wicket Men is a cricket book unlike any other. It draws stumps on a small but fascinating aspect of a pastime whose rhythms and rituals, while endlessly evolving, are rooted firmly in the English folk tradition.
In the long annals of sports and crime, no story compares to the one that engulfed the Luckman family in 1935. As 18-year-old Sid Luckman made headlines across New York City for his high school football exploits at Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, his father, Meyer Luckman, was making headlines in the same papers for a very different reason: the gangland murder of his own brother-in-law. Amazingly, when Sid became a star at Columbia and a Hall of Fame NFL quarterback in Chicago, all of it while Meyer Luckman served 20-years-to-life in Sing Sing Prison, the connection between sports celebrity son and mobster father was studiously ignored by the press and ultimately overlooked for eight decades.Tough Luck traces two simultaneous historical developments through a single immigrant family in Depression-era New York: the rise of the National Football League led by the dynastic Chicago Bears, whose famed owner George Halas convinced Sid Luckman to help him turn the sluggish game of pro football into America's favorite pastime; and the demise--triggered by Meyer Luckman's crime and initial coverup--of the Brooklyn labor rackets and Louis Lepke's infamous organization Murder, Inc. Filled with colorful characters--from ambitious district attorney-turned-governor Thomas Dewey and legendary columnist Walter Winchell, to Sid Luckman's rival quarterback "Slingin'" Sammy Baugh and pro football's unsung intellectual genius Clark Shaughnessy; from the lethal Lepke and hit men like "Tick Tock" Tannenbaum, to Sid's powerful post-career friends Frank Sinatra and Joe DiMaggio--Tough Luck memorably evokes an era of vicious Brooklyn mobsters and undefeated Monsters of the Midway, a time when the media kept their mouths shut and the soft-spoken son of a murderer could become a beloved legend with a hidden past.
Over the past decade, an audacious programme called Football Dreams has held trials for millions of 13-year-old boys across Africa looking for football's next superstars. Led by the Spanish scout who helped launch Lionel Messi's career at Barcelona and funded by the desert kingdom of Qatar, the programme has chosen a handful of boys each year to train to become professionals - a process over a thousand times more selective than getting into Harvard. In The Away Game, reporter Sebastian Abbot follows a small group of the boys as they are discovered on dirt fields across Africa, join the glittering academy in Doha where they train, and compete for the chance to gain fame and fortune at Europe's top clubs. Abbot masterfully weaves together the dramatic story of the boys' journey with an exploration of the art and science of trying to spot talent at such a young age. Richly reported and deeply moving, The Away Game is set against the geopolitical backdrop of Qatar's rise from an impoverished patch of desert to an immensely rich nation determined to buy a place on the international stage. It is an unforgettable story of the joy and pain these talented African boys experience as they chase their dreams in a dizzying world of rich Arab sheikhs, moneyhungry agents, and football-mad European fans.
A typical NBA game can yield approximately 2,800 statistical events in thirty-two different categories. In Numbers Don't Lie Yago Colas started with a simple question: how did basketball analytics get from counting one stat, the final score, to counting thousands? He discovered that what we call "basketball"-name, rules, equipment, fundamental skills, techniques, tactics, strategies-has changed dramatically since its invention and today encompasses many different forms of play, from backyards and rec leagues to the NBA Finals. Numbers Don't Lie explores the power of data to tell stories about ourselves and the world around us. As advanced statistical methods and big data technologies transform sports, we now have the power to count more things in greater detail than ever before. These numbers tell us about the past, present, and future that shape how basketball is played on the floor, decisions are made in front offices, and the sport is marketed and consumed. But what is the relationship between counting and what counts, between quantification and value? In Numbers Don't Lie Colas offers a three-part history of counting in basketball. First, he recounts how big-data basketball emerged in the past twenty years, examines its current practices, and analyzes how it presents itself to the public. Colas then situates big data within the deeper social, cultural, and conceptual history of counting in basketball and beyond and proposes alternative frameworks of value with which we may take fuller stock of the impact of statistics on the sport. Ultimately, Colas challenges the putative objectivity of both quantification and academic writing by interweaving through this history a series of personal vignettes of life at the intersection of basketball, counting, and what counts.
Buzzie and the Bull chronicles a baseball year in the lives of two lifelong friends who couldn't be more different: Buzzie Bavasi, the legendary general manager of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, and Al "the Bull" Ferrara, bon vivant, fountain of joy, and bench player. Their 1965 baseball journey encompassed a thrilling pennant race settled on the final day of the season, a city engulfed in flames, a perfect game, and a GM who extolled his friend the Bull as a hero in May and then banished him from the team to the depths of public purgatory in July. The partnership of these two characters-the general manager who valued fearlessness above all else and the crazy player who loved living on the edge-became the embodiment of champions who never choked in the clutch. Over seventeen years, Bavasi's teams won eight pennants and four World Series titles. His approach deserves recognition it has never received, and his friendship with Ferrara illustrates the ground on which he staked his baseball career. The summer of 1965 proved Bavasi's thesis that champions are built on players with one core characteristic: nerves of steel.
Climbing the Chelsea Hill is the gripping story of Ken Shellito, the first and only Chelsea manager to enter the job after rising through the ranks at Stamford Bridge. After joining as ground staff at 15, he turned professional in 1957. He played 123 senior games as a full-back and won England honours before a knee injury ended his playing career at age 23. Undeterred, he joined the coaching staff and became first-team manager of Chelsea after 22 years at the club. Later, Ken left the UK to coach and manage in his new home of Malaysia. Sadly, he died there aged 78, in 2018. In this authorised biography, Ken lays bare all the highs and lows of his unique footballing journey. His anecdotes - some harrowing, others hilarious - shine a light on an era when football was all about the teams, their fans and the camaraderie among players. It paints a fascinating portrait of how the game was played at the start of Ken's career and how it evolved into today's commercialised era of glitz and glamour.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Tiger Woods comes the definitive inside story of the New England Patriots-the greatest sports dynasty of the 21st century. It's easy to forget that the New England Patriots were once the laughingstock of the NFL, a nearly bankrupt team that had never won a championship and was on the brink of moving to St. Louis. Everything changed in 1994, when Robert Kraft acquired the franchise and soon brought on board head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. Since then, the Patriots have become a juggernaut, making ten trips to the Super Bowl, winning six of them, and emerging as one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world. Today, the team's twenty-year reign atop the NFL stands as the longest in league history. How was the Patriots dynasty built? And how did it last for two decades? In The Dynasty, acclaimed journalist Jeff Benedict provides richly reported answers in a sweeping account based on exclusive interviews with more than two hundred insiders-including team executives, coaches, players, players' wives, team doctors, lawyers, and more-as well as never-before-seen recordings, documents, and electronic communications. Through his exhaustive research, Benedict uncovers surprising new details about the inner workings of a team notorious for its secrecy. He puts readers in the room as Robert Kraft outmaneuvers a legion of lawyers and investors to buy the team. We listen in on the phone call when the greatest trade ever made-Bill Belichick for a first-round draft choice-is negotiated. And we look over the shoulder of forty-year-old Tom Brady as a surgeon operates on his throwing hand on the eve of the AFC Championship Game in 2018. But the portrait that emerges in The Dynasty is more rewarding than new details alone. By tracing the team's epic run through the perspectives of Kraft, Belichick, and Brady-each of whom was interviewed for the book-the author provides a wealth of new insight into the complex human beings most responsible for the Patriots' success. We watch the NFL's savviest owner treat Brady like a son, empower Belichick to cut and trade beloved players, and spend sleepless nights figuring out diplomatic ways to keep Brady and Belichick together for two decades. We come to understand how a genius head coach keeps his players at an emotional distance and blocks out anything that gets in the way of winning. And we experience the relentless drive, ferocious competitive nature, and emotional sensitivity that allows Brady to continue playing football into his forties. The result is an intimate portrait that captures the human drama of the dynasty's three key characters while also revealing the secrets behind their success. This is perhaps the most compelling and illuminating book that will ever be written about the greatest professional sports team of our time.
The flagship publication of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), the Baseball Research Journal is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed publication presenting the best in SABR member research on baseball. History, biography, economics, physics, psychology, game theory, sociology and culture, records, and many other disciplines are represented to expand our knowledge of baseball as it is, was, and could be played.
What happens on the pitch is only half the story.
Being a footballer is not just kicking a ball about with twenty-one other people on a big grass rectangle. Sometimes being a footballer is about accidentally becoming best mates with Mickey Rourke, or understanding why spitting is considered football’s most heinous crime.
In How to be a Footballer, Peter Crouch took us into a world of bad tattoos and even worse haircuts, a world where you’re on the pitch one minute, spending too much money on a personalised number plate the next. In I, Robot, he lifts the lid even further on the beautiful game. We will learn about Gareth Bale’s magic beans, the Golden Rhombus of Saturday night entertainment, and why Crouchy’s dad walks his dog wearing an England tracksuit from 2005.
Whether you’re an armchair expert, or out in the stands every Saturday, crazy for five-a-side or haven’t put on a pair of boots since school, this is the real inside story of how to be a footballer.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER FROM CRICKET'S HUGELY POPULAR COMMENTATOR With his infectious enthusiasm for the game, David 'Bumble' Lloyd blends immense knowledge and experience with an eye for the quirky detail and an unending fund of brilliant stories. This definitive autobiography recalls his childhood in Accrington, Lancashire, when, after a long day playing cricket in the street, he would get his chance to wash himself in his family's bath - but only after his parents and uncle had taken their turn first. From being last in the tin bath, he moved on to make his debut for Lancashire while still in his teens, eventually earning an England call-up, when he had to face the pace of Lillee and Thomson - with painful and eye-watering consequences. After retiring as a player, he became an umpire and then England coach during the 1990s, before eventually turning to commentary with Sky Sports. After spending more than 50 years involved with the professional game, Bumble's memoir is packed with hilarious anecdotes from the golden age of Lancashire cricket through to the glitzy modern era of T20 cricket. He provides vivid behind-the-scenes insight into life with England and on the Sky commentary team. Last in the Tin Bath is a joy to read from start to finish and was shortlisted for the British Sports Book Awards Autobiography of the Year.
'An astonishing work of research, detail and revelation. Bulging with information, packed with nuggets.' John Etheridge, Sun 'Superbly researched... His eye for detail never wavers. It's a pleasure to read.' Vic Marks, Observer 'The Cricket Book of the Year: Dauntingly comprehensive and surprisingly light-footed.' Simon Briggs, Daily Telegraph England: The Biography is the most comprehensive account of the England cricket team that has ever been published, taking the reader into the heart of the action and the team dynamics that have helped shape their success, or otherwise. It is now 140 years since England first played Test match cricket and, for much of that time, it has struggled to perform to the best of its capabilities. In the early years, amateurs would pick and choose which matches and tours they would play; subsequently, the demands of the county game - and the petty jealousies that created - would prevent many from achieving their best. It was only in the 1990s that central contracts were brought in, and Team England began to receive the best possible support from an ever-increasing backroom team. But cricket isn't just about structures, it depends like no other sport on questions of how successful the captain is in motivating and leading his team, and how well different personalities and egos are integrated and managed in the changing room. From Joe Root and Alastair Cook back to Mike Atherton, Mike Brearley and Ray Illingworth, England captains have had a heavy influence on proceedings. Recent debates over Kevin Pietersen were nothing new, as contemporaries of W.G.Grace would doubtless recognise. As England play their 1000th Test, this is a brilliant and unmissable insight into the ups and downs of that story.
When a struggling Korean football club wants to transform its fortunes, who does it turn to? A former Chelsea manager and a trio of players with Premier League experience, of course. Who Ate All the Squid?: Football Adventures in South Korea charts the year Ian Porterfield managed faltering K League giant Busan IPark. The Sunderland FA Cup legend lured three players from English football out to Korea: striker Jamie Cureton, an ex-England youth international who turned down Manchester United; Andy Cooke, a former Burnley and Stoke City forward who started his career building cowsheds; and Jon Olav Hjelde, who bolstered Nottingham Forest after achieving UEFA Champions League heroics with Rosenborg. How will the players cope with South Korea's unfamiliar culture and language? Can the Brits overcome personal demons, including car crashes, divorces and alcoholism? And does a British football revolution really stand a chance of succeeding in Northeast Asia? The book also casts a humorous glimpse at the world's game inside South Korea.
In this definitive biography, veteran sportswriter Tom Callahan shines a spotlight on one of the greatest golfers ever to play the game, Arnold Palmer. The winner of more than ninety championships, including four Masters Tournaments, Arnold Palmer was a legend in twentieth century sports: a supremely gifted competitor beloved for his powerful hitting, his nerve on the greens, and his great rapport with fans. Perhaps above all others, Palmer was the reason golf's popularity exploded, as the King of the links helped define golf's golden age along with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. In addition to his talent on the golf course, Palmer was a brilliant entrepreneur off it, and one of the first sportsmen to create his own successful marketing brand. Forging an alliance with sports agent Mark McCormick, Palmer parlayed his popularity into lucrative deals, and helped pave the way for the multi-million-dollar contracts that have become standard for stars across all sports. But beyond his business acumen, Palmer was always a larger-than-life character, and Arnie recounts a host of unforgettable anecdotes from a long life in the spotlight. Tom Callahan knew Palmer well for many years, and now pays tribute to this golfing icon. Filled with great stories from the key people in Palmer's life, Arnie is an entertaining and illuminating portrait of a remarkable man and his extraordinary legacy
In the good old days of association football there was no such thing as WAGs, the balls were made from rhino hide and players made their way to the ground by tram. And the rudest thing you could say to a referee was: "Hoy, referee! Do you need spectacles?" Those Were The Days: Football journeys back through the photo archives to find photos of pre-war footer accompanied by a sparkling commentary, delivered in a Pathe news style that wouldn't go amiss delivered by Mr Cholmondley-Warner (of Harry Enfield fame). Those were the days when you could still smoke while playing centre forward, when games often ended 6-6 and a broken leg was no excuse to miss the second half. Find even more humourous nostalgia in: When I Were a Lad... (9781907554001), When I Where a School Lad... (9781907554148), When I Were a Nipper... (9781907554360) and Those Were the Days: Golf (9781843400002).
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