KP: The Autobiography – book review

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A guest review of KP: The Autobiography by Dandy Dan.

Having met KP and most of team, I feel I’m very qualified to review this book – especially as he came across to me as actually being all right. I didn’t buy it. I got it out from the library. I didn’t even pay the 50p charge (or however much it is these days) as I know the librarian. It’s not what you know…

It’s a bit boring really. The problem isn’t really all the sections released in the media when it came out. It’s that he’s never really been shy in saying how he feels throughout his career so we all know the stories anyway. The only thing that came to a real surprise to me was his dislike for Flower. Flower gets a pasting throughout the book, even during the successful times. Now I had come to the conclusion at the end of the last Ashes series that Flower must be to blame for the whole debacle, so taking this one sided view of things I feel smugly content in being right.

Essentially, each chapter follows the same path with a different tour/story thrown in.

In bullet point format:

  • Yes, I’ve made mistakes, I realise that now (But he doesn’t realise he’s still making them).
  • The IPL is great, not enough people in England realise this.
  • The ECB is made up of incompetent buffoons (This was a particularly startling revelation).
  • I had an injury and wasn’t playing well.
  • I played well.

The most interesting part of it to me (well one which wasn’t covered by the media that I could tell) was his apparent dislike of authoritarian coaches, yet the fondness he holds for his strict childhood experiences. Flower (and to a lesser extent Moores) get a slagging for being too controlling, yet he reminisces about his time at school where the juniors had to say please at the end of every sentence they spoke to a senior. Apparently this taught him that respect has to be earnt. I’m not sure I understood the idea of earning someone’s respect just because they were older than you. He obviously has a lot of respect for his father who he says showed him little emotion, but then criticises Flower for not putting an arm around him. If there’s a source to the idea that KP just wants to be loved there it is. Pop psychology over.

The whole Matt Prior/Big Cheese stuff starts off quite funny, gets a bit tiresome, then goes back to being funny again. It’s particularly amusing when he takes the piss out of him for thinking he’s in Team Sky. Swann doesn’t get laid into as much as I thought he would for leaving the tour early.

He does make a good case for the IPL and reading his book has changed my mind about it a bit regarding its importance and the engagement the ECB should have with it. I’m still not interested in actually watching it though.

Following this revelation that the newspapers didn’t actually republish every last word of KP’s book, you might like to buy it. If so, you can get it from Amazon here.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Do you really have to pay 50p to take a book out from the library under normal circumstances? I’ve heard of charges to borrow DVDs and the like, but never books.

    Unless Dandy Dan was listening to the Audiobook – in which case, I hope it was read by KP himself, or at the very least in a Seth Efriken accent.

    1. Hmmmm, I had to get it ordered in. I think there was a small charge for that. Cricketing autobiographies are not all that popular in Scottish libraries .

  2. I’m guessing it’s Trescothick or maybe Cook put on a lot of weight over Christmas.

  3. Good review Dandy Dan, thanks.

    Before I read your review, I had no intention of reading KP’s book.

    Now I have read your review…

    …I still have no intention of reading KP’s book. But now from a better-informed perspective.

    Thanks again.

  4. I forget where my rant about Stokes was and he totally failed today and didn’t even bowl so he is due. His series wasn’t that great, he averaged about 73 at a SR of 133 from memory and took about 12 wickets in 3 games at an average of about 14.

    I’m wondering if Bopara has a slightly damaged hamstring?

    1. Bopara is clearly saving up his runs. Indeed, he has been saving his runs for the last 4 years or so and is now due a really massive glut. I’m talking undefeated double tons right across the tournament, even in the quarter final that England will still somehow conspire to lose by 10 wickets.

    2. Presumably that other run being a controversial leg bye that the bowler, the fielders (even square leg), commentators, hawk-eye and even the batsman himself could tell would clearly have been lbw.

  5. Badger talk: It’s actually quite nice to see cricketers (e.g. Ashley Giles) showing some out-and-out negative emotions, rather than going on about how we’re taking the positives etc.

    Sadly it only seems to happen when they get fired from something (in this case pre-emptively).

    1. Was the library in Margate? I only ask because I went to Margate on my holidays when I was a child. I didn’t go to the library though.

    2. Margate is not very high, because according to London-based altitude specialists Chas and Dave, one has to go “down to Margate”.

      Behave yourself granddad or you won’t be going.

  6. Ok. Altitude for this is insignificant. Longitude might be a contender though. I’m presently out on the beer. I’ll check over the weekend.

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