For all the bookworms out there, this is just the post for you. Every cricket fan wants to get close and personal with their favorite cricketers and know more about the off-the-field incidents of the game. Is it possible, though? Definitely, yes.Autobiographies help us to understand the game better, give us a much better idea of how the sport pans out, what are the pressure that a cricketer deals with, how does a leader inspire his team match after match, and how do players cope up with the pressure from the fans in every match. Through this post, we will discuss about ‘5’ must-read autobiographies of cricketers which get us closer to the game.
#1 Farewell to cricket by Don Bradman
Farewell to cricket by Don Bradman: Bradman is someone who ‘defined’ the game of cricket, someone who raised the bars of this game through his game, changing it for the generations to come.
This book is a memoir of Bradman’s career, revisiting his best matches. Often regarded as a ‘must read’ for every cricket fan, this book is for all those cricket lovers who want to discover more about this legend’s career and revisit the ‘Bradman era’.
There’s very little to 'no' information on the game of cricket in the Bradman era, and hence this book is a ‘golden piece’, taking us through various matches of cricket that truly define this sport and, of course, Bradman’s career, which is regarded as one of the most illustrious careers in sports of all time.
If you’re one of those who want to know more about cricket’s history, this is the book for you.
#2 All round view by Imran Khan
All round view by Imran Khan : Imran Khan, dynamic and charismatic, can be regarded as cricket’s first celebrity. If you’ve read books on Imran Khan, you would understand why many cricket historians/experts have said it time and again that it’s because of him that many women got interested in watching cricket.
Toni Cozier, in one of his interviews, said, "During the World Series Cricket, in one the matches when 2 teams were on-board, 2 women from USA came to the players and asked them ‘Are you cricketers’? 2 giant cricketers from West Indies said – yes. To which the 2 women replied ‘where is Imran Khan’?." That’s the kind of impact Khan had even in countries where cricket isn’t the most followed sport.
In his book ‘all round view’, Khan takes us through his various life journeys: be it his childhood days, his time at the Oxford, the reason behind the change in his bowling action and the various roles and responsibilities that he had to fill in as the captain of the Pakistan team.
Khan can be called a ‘born leader’. If there’s one cricketer who has changed Pakistan cricket, it’s Imran Khan. His father-like figure on the players served as a motivation to all the young players; Wasim Akram, someone who has very often credited Khan for his success, admitted that it was Khan who taught him the valuable lessons at the very start of his career, which made Akram the legend that he is.
This book gets you more close and personal with Khan’s life and his cricketing career. For those of you who want to know how ‘glamour’ became a part of cricket, this book might just give you the answer.
#3 My illustrated career by Shane Warne
My illustrated career by Shane Warne : Regarded as the spin-wizard, Warne had a career which was without doubt always in the ‘news’. For some reason or the other, Warne always found himself in the limelight. It can be because of his ‘never say die attitude’ or because some people hated his guts, but it’s true with Warne that you could either ‘love him or hate him’ but you can't ignore him.
Warne time and again found himself engulfed in controversies, and hence the name of the book is fitting, even though, to some extent, it is ironical. Warne’s image never suffered because he always had a way to answer the critics: through his impeccable passion in representing his country. Warne achieved many glories in his cricketing career, and he became the perfect leader during the twilight of his career, setting the right example for the young cricketers coming through.
This book takes you through the various highs and lows of Warne’s career, perfectly explaining why Warne is a ‘maestro’ – a cricketer par excellence.
#4 To the point by Herschelle Gibbs
To the point by Herschelle Gibbs : It’s very hard for a popular figure to admit the mistakes of his life, but Gibbs, without any hesitation, does so in this book. Coming closer to his fans more than ever, the former South African opening batsman goes ‘all out’ in this book and is perfectly honest with his fans.
Gibbs takes his fans through a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs through his book. As the name suggests, there’s no roaming around and just straight talk.
As frustrating as it was for a cricket fan to see the downfall of Gibbs just when he promised to take his cricketing career to another level, one cannot ignore the sheer genius that Gibbs was. One of the most blistering cricketers that this sport has seen, Gibbs was always regarded as the ‘most damaging’ man from the Proteas side. He could take the game away from the opposition at any given time: for instance, the 435 run chase vs. Australia would’ve been impossible had it not been for an unbelievable knock from Gibbs that took South Africa to glory in the epic encounter.
This ‘the no-holds barred’ book by Gibbs will certainly give you an idea of why the cricket fans were always positive of Gibbs and wanted the best from him. This book is one of the most different and unique autobiographies that you will come across, not only of a cricketer but of an individual.
#5 Controversially yours by Shoaib Akhtar
Controversially yours by Shoaib Akhtar: The Rawalpindi express, as he was referred to, is the ‘fastest bowler’ that this game of cricket has seen thus far, statically saying. He holds the record for the fastest delivery in a cricket match - 161km/h.
Akhtar’s career saw various highs and lows, be it him being in the news for partying, indiscipline or ball tampering. However, one could never question his commitment when he ran from the boundary, like a cheetah running towards its prey.
Besides his career, Akhtar points about several life-changing moments in the book. Many fans of his don’t know about the humble background from which Akhtar has prospered to become the ‘king of fast bowling’. It’s his struggling childhood days that perhaps made him such a strong character. Akhtar has often been disliked for his bluntness. Just like Warne. you can hate him or love him, but you just cannot ignore Shoaib Akhtar.
Through this autobiography, Akhtar points out the various flaws in the Pakistan cricket system, and the several controversies that surrounded him through his career – giving his take on them. Moreover, Akhtar also writes down his love for the game. Definitely, for all the lovers of fast bowling out there, this is a book you cannot miss.